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The beauty of good deeds

As I was feeling a little under the weather today, I stayed in and tried to catch up on some of the lost sleep from the hectic schedule of last week. I dosed only to be awoken by my phone ringing to a number I did not recognize. My practice, like many of you, is not to answer numbers I don't recognize. This is done mostly to avoid the call from some unwanted solicitor, or worse still some recorded message from someone reminding me that I need to schedule my next oil change, or something to that affect.

But, not keeping with protocol I answered the phone today. The voice of the person on the other end was young and vibrant, the words strong and confident. He said, "Professor, is that you?" Still in my slumber, I just remember saying "excuse me, who?"

He went on to say "Dr. Sherif this is your former student xxx", a name quite frankly I did not recognize.

He said something to the effect of "I've tried to call you to say thank you a number of times now, but to no avail. I wanted you to know I got the job and your recommendation letter made a huge difference. As it turns out my new boss was your student too many years ago".

I couldn't recall writing the recommendation letter, and upon hearing the name of this young man's boss, I couldn't remember him either.

I said feebly to this ecstatic person who I couldn't remember, congratulations and please send my best to your boss who too was unfamiliar to me.

The young man before hanging up said he would always be in my debt, and that my class had given him a drive he once lacked. Before hanging up, he said if he could ever be of use to me in the future I should let him know.

But, alas I didn't remember him as he did me, nor did I recall much else. I never did figure out who he was, or why what I did was so worthy.

As a result of this phone call though, I started thinking about who I needed to call to express my appreciation for the help they gave me. I started a list and by the time I was done, the list was long but looking at it was heart wrenching.

So many of the people I need to thank have passed, and I wonder if I called others whether they would remember my name.

Yes, I have been very forgetful and irresponsible to so many. Many a good deed was remembered this day all as a result of one phone call of appreciation made to me.

I guess such is the beauty of good deeds, they seem to stand the test of time. And, for that one person that appreciated a little help I gave him today, he has reminded me of the debts I owe to so many others whose pay out is best expressed by respect and eternal gratitude.

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