Small Things

At the girls’ Taekwondo test last weekend, I noticed that some parents (mostly those of white belts testing for their yellow belts) did not take their cameras.  It would have been the child’s first Taekwondo test, maybe the parents didn’t know they could take cameras or didn’t have one readily available, or for whatever reason, they were only there to watch.  Now some parents I didn’t know because some people just drop their kids off and never stay, but some I did, just from a visual nod type of perspective (we just watch and don’t interact much really).

So, thought I, sitting on the floor in a prime front seat with a camera, wouldn’t it be nice if they had a picture of Little Johnny or Little Jane getting their shiney new belt?  And, if I knew of the child from class, and knew who the parent was and they didn’t have a camera, I took it upon myself to take a picture of their child being awarded their belt so I could print off a picture for them.

Now I went home and printed off the photos… not fabulous quality for sure, but better than nothing… and in the time that followed test and next class reconsidered a hundred times.  I am, in fact, probably too shy to go up to someone and say “Would you like a photo of your kids recent accomplishment?  It’s really low quality, but I thought you might like it.”  In the end, though, I decided it would be a nice thing to do, something I would appreciate if someone did for me, and they were printed off already anyway so what was the harm.

And each mom was delighted to have the picture.  Really pleased.  But then the oddest thing happened…

After giving out the pictures, I went back to my bench to watch the class and one of the moms walked over to me and asked me “Do you want something for this?”  I think I may have laughed out loud.  On one hand it was funny, because I could have said, “yes, give me $2 million dollars for that crappy quality photo of your kid,” but on the other kind of sad that people would even think that the only reason someone might do something nice for them was to get something in return. 

Maybe it was nice of her to ask… like a way of expressing appreciation?  Or maybe it is a sad observation that people expect there to be a motive for random kindness?  Maybe it’s both.

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3 Responses to “Small Things”


  1. 1 Janet March 7, 2008 at 11:22 am

    There’s always going to be someone suspicious of your motives. I’m glad most of the other people received it graciously. Hopefully you are right and she was just asking to be nice in return.

  2. 2 ramblingmom March 7, 2008 at 11:50 am

    HEY — you printed out photos and used up photo paper and toner — so there was a cost to you.

    I’m always about pictures (not photographs – but simple point and shoot type pictures). And when I’m printing out pictures I often print out things for other people — each one costs me like $0.15 or $0.20 to print out so, individually, it’s not much. Over the years it does add up — but I figure as long as other people in the world are giving pictures to other folks — then there’s some kind of a balance.

    (Of course, now with most people I know being electronically hooked up – I just send the pictures and it costs me nothing :} ).

    There’s just things you do cause you’re neighborly.

    Maybe when these kids go from yellow stripes to yellow belts those moms will take pictures of the first time testing kids and pass it along.

  3. 3 tpgoddess0103 March 7, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Well, that was a lovely thing for you to do, and I am sure it was probably just that mom’s awkward way to wanting to thank you or let you know she would not take something like that for granted.


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