Of Hearts and Hands by O' Henry Essay Sample
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” -Oscar Wilde. Although some do not think about the impact of their deed, a small act of kindness goes a long way. Whether helping out a friend to prevent embarrassment, giving a meaningful item to brighten someone's day, or simply becoming involved to create a large impact on the world. Truly, a simple act of kindness can make a significant difference in another person's life regardless of how big or small.
The story "Hearts and Hands" demonstrates the theme that kindness can mean a great deal to someone in need. Surprisingly, the marshal shows extraordinary kindness toward Mr. Easton, his prisoner. The two board the B & M express when they encounter Miss Fairchild, one of Easton's old friends. Miss Fairchild sees that Mr. Easton is handcuffed to another person and she fears that her old friend is a criminal. Mr. Easton is about to be embarrassed when the marshal speaks up and claims he is the prisoner. The marshal says, “If you'll excuse me for speaking, miss but I see you are acquainted with the marshal here” (240). Although this is a lie, it means a great deal to Mr. Easton. Miss Fairchild is relieved and even thinks that Easton is “one of those dashing Western Heroes” (241). Thanks to the marshal’s courageous act of kindness, Easton’s reputation with the women is salvaged.
The article, "Big Man, Big Hearts," also demonstrates how a small act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone's life. In this true story, strangers from around the world have been especially generous to the tallest man on the planet, Leonid Stadnik. Leonid had to go through many hardships throughout his life due to his excessive height. After having a large amount of recognition, his difficulties began to become more known and people had the urge to help him in any way they could. In the article, “Big Man, Big Hearts,” it states “benefactors from all over Ukraine and the world have sent him gifts, particularly necessities that must be specially made for an extremely tall person like Stadnik.”Leonid Stadnik received many gifts so that his condition could become more bearable. Such as a large car to have the ability to travel easily, a brand new computer to communicate with others, a trip to Germany from his relative to go on amazing experiences, and so much more. Stanik exclaims, “'I have always dreamt that my life and the life of my loved ones . . . would become more comfortable. My dream is coming true.” In conclusion, although Stanik had an unimaginable condition that affected his whole life, small acts of kindness, created a sense of comfort and happiness.
Though I didn't save someone from embarrassment like the marshal did or help by purchasing hundred dollar gifts like the generous souls who supported Stadnik, I have helped to supply necessities for hardworking and dedicated military workers. During the largely occupied holiday season, my girl scout troop, and I made little boxes consisting of goodies, toothpaste, socks, and items that are difficult to find in the forign locations where the troops were stationed. They would soon be sent out, to then be distributed amongst the soldiers who desperately needed the items in the shivering or blazing hot climate of their location. Prior or after to the long days work, of preparing, and training for an upcoming job of running, swimming, flying through the forign oceans, sky, or gritty, and dusty air of deserts the soldiers definitely appreciated it. Although I never got the experience of seeing the military workers opening or receiving the boxes, it warmed my heart to know that my simple act of kindness could make a large impact on someone's holiday season.
In closing, difficulties occur commonly in the world, and taking the initiative to have a helping hand can make a yet extraordinary difference. The marshal in “Hearts and Hands” was not forced into taking action but was compassionate enough to assist Mr. Easton to avoid embarrassment. Likewise, generous strangers from all over the world demonstrated generosity by buying gifts that were enormously meaningful to lift Leonid Staniks’ spirits. And I even demonstrated an act that could have a large impact on someone else. An uncalled for kind act of selfishness and generosity is like a present, small but it has an extravagant meaning.