Driving in the Five Towns on a Friday or Sunday afternoon is always a fun experience. The main roads are frequently clogged, and the melodious sounds of harmonizing horns give a gentle reminder that the light has changed. Drivers look up from their phones just long enough to drive the next four blocks and then dive right back in. Occasionally, a new driver will actually use his signal when turning, eliciting a confused gaze from other drivers.
The real fun begins when you drive down a side road. The open road results in people hitting dangerous speeds as they zip to the other end. And then you see it: a little boy or girl with a lemonade stand. They are watching the cars fly by, waiting, hoping that someone will stop.
Will you be that person? It takes two minutes to bring a smile to a little child’s face. Usually, the kids are collecting for their yeshivos. I saw a girl raising money for BBY, and a boy for Darchei. On one block I saw a gaggle of kids raising money for Chai Lifeline. It’s so beautiful. Not only are these wonderful children developing a great work ethic, but they’re also trying to help others. Is it that difficult to stop for a minute or two?
They don’t just want your money. I saw a driver drop off a dollar and drive off. It was sweet, but disappointment clouded the girl’s face. She wanted to make a sale, not get a handout. It’s the opposite of the entitlement that many millennials have. She wants to work hard and earn money.
The next time you’re driving down a side road and see some kids selling lemonade, pull over. Watch how excited they get when you buy a cup. Tell them how thirsty you were, and that they saved the day. They will thank you. Their parents, who are watching nervously from inside, will thank you. Take a minute or two to appreciate a cold cup of lemonade. Then get back to the honking.
Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a well-known rebbe and parenting adviser. To sign up for the weekly emails and read the comments, visit YidParenting.com.