‘Good Deed’ By Stranger at Gas Station Will Blow Your Mind…But Does ‘Positive News’ Even Matter to ‘Us?’


*We’ll get to the “good deed” in a minute.

But first, there is something I have been meaning to get off my chest for quite some time. I notice when this publication acknowledges positive actions and shares good news, we don’t get as many views or comments as the negative news we tend to share. And that’s just sad. It’s like negativity is the only thing that gets our attention.

I bring this up also because social media sometimes asks why media doesn’t cover positive things? Most recently this question was attached to a photo of a group of high school children praying outside in the school yard. Whoever posted the photo this time wondered why news such as that doesn’t go viral.

Positive news doesn’t sell.

Hell, I get that as Black folk, we’ve got a lot going on.  We’ve got every right to be mad as a muh-f*cker — what with being disrespected; victimized by modern day lynchings from those who were hired to protect and serve all people; and continually profiled by society as a whole — we’re not presented with much to smile about. As a result, look around, many of us seem to have forgotten how to smile.

…Unless we are motivated by some external action. Someone gives us a gift. We get good news on a personal level. We win that court case. Our life-partner finally proposes, etc.

But that’s so fleeting. Once we’ve spent the money, or gotten somewhat comfortable with the new situation, we’re right back to where we were before.

Thing is, if we continue down this road, we’re doomed — individually and collectively.

Smiles are so underrated.  I personally feel a smile is like medicine, doctors should prescribe it to people. I am sure you have experienced days when you get up feeling awful. But then as you walked into that store, or strolled down that street and that stranger gave you the warmest smile, you couldn’t resist and you smiled back.

And it felt damn good! Changed your whole mood.

Amazing how that happens. My whole point here is, bad things are a part of life. They are going to continue to happen. You don’t have to immerse yourself in the weight of it all. You can still take action in your own way, but live your life in the meantime. Don’t let “them” or “it” steal your joy.

That’s more than just a cliche.

A smile costs nothing, but the rewards are plentiful. Smiles are a start to changing the infrastructure of your entire day. Week. Month. Life. Its a choice that can easily become contagious. And it generates a warm environment. And change begins to happen.

It opens avenues of communication. People want to be around you — especially if the smile is genuine.

So try it: wake up that face. It’s your greatest tool for change. Use it.

Here’s lookin’ at YOU, kid.


Now for the good deed.

Tyson Crawley stopped to get some diesel for his truck and coffee before work. But when he got to the register he realized he didn’t have his new debit card with him. We know the drill right? Check and see if you have another card you can use. Crawley, a bit embarrassed, tried to use another card — but dang, he blanked on the card’s PIN number.

Now faced with a $110 bill, his dogs barking in the truck outside, and the reality that he was now definitely going to be late for work, he began to sweat bullets.

Then a total stranger walks in and comes up to him. The stranger had actually been in the store previously to get some coffee and noticed Crawley and his dilemma; so he came back in and asked the man if he needed some cash.

But that was a lot of money so at first, Crawley declined the kind offer. But then he asked if it would be OK to get the man’s number so he could transfer the money back to him as soon as he got home.

He asked the man to write his name and phone number down on the receipt.

Which he thought he saw the man do.

But when he looked at the receipt, “John” had simply written his name and the message, “Pass it on.”


Before we go any further, how many assumed Crawley, the white dude, was the giver?

You’d be wrong.


In the Popsugar.com article, Crawley elaborates and even shares the receipt on his Facebook page.

After a bit of investigating, Tyson Crawley discovered that the kindness had been extended to him by a man named John Kennedy Jr., (thumbs up in the photo above) who was a former ice hockey player from Michigan who now worked for some geotech company.

John Kennedy, Jr. spoke with Mashable about the encounter and said, “I saw a brother in need and just wanted to help.” Adding, “Tyson asked me to write my number down and I didn’t want him to return the money, I just thought ‘pass it on’ as in pass on ‘something good.'”

At Popsugar press time the story had received 900 reactions, 200 shares, and 100 comments on Facebook. But these numbers have no doubt changed since then.

The Mashable article has 2.4K shares!

Both men are shocked at the response their story is getting because after all, good news doesn’t sell.

And just look at the smiles on those faces; especially on the face of the giver. I am sure his genuine act of kindness left him walking on Cloud 9.

I hope to hear your comments in the space below.

9 thoughts on “‘Good Deed’ By Stranger at Gas Station Will Blow Your Mind…But Does ‘Positive News’ Even Matter to ‘Us?’”

  1. We must pass along great stories like this.
    Good for you John Kennedy Jr.

  2. Thank you for the “good news” story that brought a big smile and heartfelt joy to me to learn of John’s spontaneous generosity. Thanks also for the reminder that good news merits comments, too!

  3. Stories like this one is what keeps motivated and looking forward to the day when everyone will realize though our skin is black, not all of us are black people. My favorite story of the year!

  4. Thank you so very much, Linda Jackson. For this comment and all of your comment contributions on TNT articles in general. We do notice and thank you!

  5. That is the America I know & love! I notice that John stated that he noticed a “brother” in need. John is blessed to be a blessing & like our heavenly father above only see the spirit of a Man. May God continue to Bless your single act of kindness 1 million times over!!!


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