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Robert Risdon was having a very regular day when he suddenly became a viral sensation. Not knowing that someone was recording him, what he did that day quickly scoured social media. His simple act of kindness moved the whole world and showed us all that goodness lies in the heart of all of us. What he did in a Taco Bell joint was truly extraordinary, and it changed his life.
Robert Risdon is a Colonel, originally from Illinois. Due to his work, he was moved to Georgia, where he became the deputy commander for the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning. Risdon was not a novice, and he had years of military experience under his belt. He was going on about his life, not expecting that one night would change it all.
One day, Risdon was playing with his Senior Bowl team in Alabama. On the way back from the game, he was hungry and decided to stop by a nearby Taco Bell joint for some food. He was planning to grab a quick meal and get home as soon as possible, but little did he know that what awaited him inside the restaurant would touch the whole world.
Risdon walked into Taco Bell, going straight for the counter where he knew just what it was he wanted to order. But something caught his attention when he entered the restaurant, and now he was pulled back to it. After all, he was well trained at observing his environment. And what he noticed didn’t seem in any way extraordinary at first.
Risdon saw two young boys hanging out in the restaurant. It was pouring rain outside, so he thought they came in to shelter from the rain. Risdon noticed something else about the two boys, however. He knew he had to strike up a conversation then and there. But the boys reached out first.
The two young boys came straight up to Risdon, asking him very politely if he would be interested in buying home-baked treats that they are selling for their local church. They were selling the treats for dirt cheap and were trying to raise money for their community, not for themselves. But Risdon couldn’t buy any of their goods.
As it turned out, Risdon didn’t have any cash on him at the time. He really wanted to help the two young boys out, but he simply had no way of purchasing their cookies and cakes. It looked like the boys might end up without a sale once more. But would Risdon offer something else?
It was getting late, and the boys knew that they would probably not make another sale on that day. They were resigned to their fate and were ready to try again the next day. But somehow, Risdon couldn’t just let them leave empty-handed. He then asked them a question that changed everything.
Risdon noticed that the two boys didn’t look very well fed. They were probably quite hungry, and Risdon, knowing what scarcity looks like, was determined to help them. He then asked them a very simple question, but one that no one else in the Taco Bell dared to ask. Were they hungry?
Even though the two boys had a lot of baked goods on them, they were doing honest charity work for their church, and even if hungry, they would never touch what they were supposed to sell. And Risdon recognized just how honest they were. But he didn’t know just how young they were too.
The boys were even younger than Risdon thought. One was only nine years old, and the older one was 13. They spent hours upon hours walking and standing outside, trying to sell their cookies and cakes. But they weren’t having much luck. And that’s where Risdon stepped in.
Risdon, out of the goodness of his heart, told the boys to choose whatever they wanted from the menu. The boys were ecstatic about the offer, and of course, they were in no position to refuse it. But they were unsure as to what to get. Which is where Risdon helped them once again.
Seeing that the two boys were as hungry as can be, he offered to buy them the Grande Meal. The boys would have been probably too shy to ask for it, but he knew that is what they were really after. And the Grande Meal consisted of 10 tacos! But the food was not the only thing Risdon wanted to give to the boys.
Risdon saw that these two boys were honest and hard-working, and he recognized a bit of himself in them. So he wanted to leave them with valuable advice. He shared with them that when they are older, they should not pass up on the opportunity to help a fellow human. And he was doing all this for the boys because he felt a certain responsibility.
Trained by the army, Risdon really toughened up. But he was also a witness to human suffering and to how a simple act of kindness could save a person’s life. He was determined to lead his life in a way that benefits others, not just himself. And his act in Taco Bell proved that he was living up to his own ideals. But he had an even more personal investment in the boys.
When Risdon spotted the two boys in Taco Bell, he couldn’t help but see his own children in front of his eyes. After all, the same fate could have happened to them. The whole situation broke his heart, and that is why he was so gentle and loving towards the two strangers.
Risdon’s beautiful act of kindness is a reminder to us all that we all have the power to help someone in need, even if we might think we need help ourselves. There is always something we can do for the benefit of loved ones, friends, or even strangers, and it makes the world a better place to live in.