At 90 years old, Mr. Hutchins was a wealthy man and the proud owner of the largest grocery store in Texas. Despite his age, he still possessed an attractive appearance with hazelnut eyes and a distinguished greyish shine to his hair. However, his busy business life had left him with neither a spouse nor any children.
As Mr. Hutchins grew older, he began to worry about his lack of an heir. One day, he found himself pondering, “Who will inherit my estate when I pass away?”
While Mr. Hutchins wasn’t opposed to philanthropy, he desired to pass on his legacy to someone who would genuinely appreciate it. He also knew that giving everything to a friend was not an option, as the cutthroat nature of the business world had taught him that one had more enemies than friends.
With no clear solution in sight, he turned to his trusted lawyer, Mr. William Carter, for advice. “What do you think, William?” he asked his legal counsel. “I’ve been considering my options, but I can’t seem to make a decision.”
“Mr. Hutchins, let’s eliminate the option of donating your estate to a charity. Do you happen to have any distant relatives?” Mr. Carter inquired.
Mr. Hutchins reflected on his past and replied, “I was orphaned at a young age and had to establish myself in Texas with almost nothing. I do not wish to pass my estate to someone solely based on blood relations. I would like it to go to someone who understands its true value.”
Realizing this was an unusual case, Mr. Carter asked for time to consider his options and scheduled a meeting for the following Friday.
After the call, Mr. Hutchins sat in his study, attempting to compile a list of potential heirs to his estate. Hours went by without adding a single name, leaving Mr. Hutchins feeling discouraged. However, a thought occurred to him – what if he put his employees to the test? Perhaps there was someone among them who, like himself, knew the value of hard work and determination.
The next day, Mr. Hutchins put on his oldest clothes and purchased a second-hand cane. He even went as far as putting on a fake beard before setting off to his destination – the grocery store.
As he approached the entrance, the cashier, Lincy, yelled, “Go away, old man! People like you are not allowed in here!”
Mr. Hutchins replied, “But ma’am, I’m just here for some food. I haven’t eaten in days. I need your help.”
Lincy responded coldly, “Well, then, I guess you’re in the wrong place. Homeless people like you beg on the streets. You don’t deserve to be in such a posh establishment!”
Mr. Hutchins was disheartened by her response. He thought, “Yikes, I definitely have some mean employees. Maybe I’ll be able to find my heir among the customers.” He walked along the food shelves, but he had no luck there either.
Suddenly, a woman in the line yelled, “Who the hell let this man in here? Wait, don’t get too close. You smell like garbage meat!”
“But ma’am…” Mr. Hutchins attempted to explain, but he was interrupted.
“I know, right!” exclaimed another man. “Give him some money and shoo him away.”
Mr. Hutchins explained that he was only looking for some food, but a saleswoman interrupted him with a harsh tone. “You need to get out of here right now!” she said. “Our customers are voicing their dissatisfaction, and we can’t let that go! By the way, how did you even get in, huh? Didn’t the guards stop you?”
Mr. Drummonds, a regular at the store, chimed in. “Get him away from my eyesight, or I am never revisiting this store! And tell the guards not to let such scumbags in!”
Linda, the saleswoman, apologized to Mr. Hutchins. “Sorry for the inconvenience, sir,” she said. “I’ll have him escorted right now!”
As Mr. Hutchins was leaving, he thought to himself, “Wow! This store really hosts some of the meanest human beings!” But just then, a voice called out from behind him. “Everyone, get away from the old man!”
Mr. Hutchins turned around and saw Lewis, the store administrator, standing there. “But Lewis, do you think Mr. Hutchins would have tolerated such a man at the store?” Lucy, one of the staff members, asked. “I’m sure he wouldn’t have let him in!”
“I know Mr. Hutchins better than you, Lincy,” Lewis replied sharply. “So get back to your work before I report this to him.” He then turned to Mr. Hutchins and said, “Please come with me, sir. I apologize for my staff’s rude behavior.”
Lewis brought Mr. Hutchins into the store, grabbed a basket, and started filling it with groceries. After paying for the items and handing them over, Mr. Hutchins became emotional and thanked Lewis for his kindness. He then asked Lewis why he chose to help a homeless man instead of turning him away.
Lewis replied with a smile, telling Mr. Hutchins that he once found himself in a similar position when he was looking for work. Despite having nothing, Mr. Hutchins offered him a job and a place to stay. This act of kindness taught Lewis the importance of being compassionate towards others.
Mr. Hutchins smiled at Lewis, feeling like he had finally found his successor. He thanked Lewis again for his generosity and walked away.
Years later, after Mr. Hutchins had passed away, Lewis received a call from Mr. Carter, informing him that Mr. Hutchins had left everything to him, including a letter explaining why he had chosen Lewis as his inheritor. The letter revealed that Mr. Hutchins had disguised himself as a homeless man to test the kindness of the people around him, and Lewis had passed that test with flying colors.