By Jeanne Piraino Sigler
Thursday Review Contributing Writer
Church was dismissing last Sunday when I caught a glimpse of Melissa’s new haircut. The shorter style grabbed me by surprise because the 14-year-old always took great pride in her long locks. This was quite a change.
I remarked to Melissa’s mom about how cute her daughter’s style looked, then questioned why the big transformation. I assumed that, as with most kids her age, she was going along with some popular trend—only to find out this change in style went much deeper. This unselfish teen had cut her hair to donate to an organization for kids with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Her mom’s explanation moved us both to tears.
Pretty amazing, huh? Well, what’s even more so is the fact that she did it completely anonymously, not wanting a bit of glory or even a pat on the back. Her act was motivated purely out of unconditional love. Melissa heard about a need and responded, giving no thought to herself.
I exited the building and walked to the car utterly challenged, thinking about what kinds of sacrifices I’d made lately. Sure I enjoy doing those little things that bless others, like buying secret gifts, often without them even knowing it’s me. That’s always fun, but then again I have to examine my motives. Can my getting pleasure from watching their response be considered selfish? Melissa will probably never see or meet the ones she’s helping, yet she did this, nevertheless.
I’ve reflected on this since. She’s motivated me to dig deeper when it comes to practicing random acts of kindness. What a great choice she’s made and what a remarkable young woman she is. Melissa exemplifies a true ‘WWJD’ lifestyle. I consider it an honor to be her friend.
But it doesn’t begin and end there. She and her three siblings have two godly, first-class parents, and her strong Christian heritage has extended for generations. Melissa is one of those privileged youngsters with a solid childhood and upbringing and it shows. As her mom and I chatted, I made sure I told her this is evident. We cried again.
In a day and age filled with so much bad news and negative press about youth, it is a breath of fresh air to hear that exceptional kids like Melissa are doing good. And for that reason, I’m now personally challenged to sacrifice even more. Thanks, Melissa.