Acts of kindness can leave a big impact in someone’s life. It’s even bigger when that kindness is carried out by a complete stranger, just like the story told by Jamie-Lynn Knighten.
Knighten is a mom from Carlsbad, California. Just like any other moms, she needed to cross off one item in her checklist for the day–grocery shopping.
It was already late in the evening of Nov. 10 but she still braved the grocery crowd with her fussy 5-month old baby. It was already stressful navigating through the market with a crying baby but she didn’t expect that things will get worse over at the check-out counter.
Knighten had forgotten to bring her debit card, which was what she was supposed to use to pay her $200 worth of groceries. She tried using her Canadian credit card but it was declined due to an anti-fraud lock.
With a long line waiting behind her, she was on the brink of giving up her items. That’s when her everyday hero stepped in to help. A young man offered to cover the cost for her. Knighten first refused, but after insisting the third time, she realized that this total stranger really just wanted to help.
“When he asked to take care of it as long as I would pay it forward, that’s when it hit me that he really meant it,” Knighten said. “He really wanted to help.”
Knighten was in tears as she thanked the young man, whom she later found out to be 28-year old Matthew Jackson. She also learned that Jackson works at LA Fitness. The two eventually parted ways, not knowing that it would be the first and last time that they’d see each other again.
A week later the event, Knighten tried contacting Jackson through his workplace to bring him a gift for his kindness. But instead of setting an appointment with him, she was met with a tragic news. Jackson’s boss informed Knighten that the good Samaritan she had met had passed away in a car accident.
She was so shocked especially since the crash happened less than 24 hours after Jackson had saved Knighten’s grocery mishap. The mom of two shared in a Facebook post the whole story and then started a social media movement to share his generous, yet, tragic legacy.
She started a Facebook page and initiated the hashtag #MatthewsLegacy on Twitter to honor his memory and inspire others to pay it forward.
“This is what the world needs to hear this is what I want my kids to see. I want my kids to recognize that there are still really really good people out there,” Knighten said.
Jackson’s life may have been cut short but he will always be remembered for his good works. May his life be an inspiration to all of us–to be kind and to pay it forward.
The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31
Source: LA Times