When Holding a Door… Holds a New Life

Dear Reader:

Some of you might have caught this three minute episode of ” On the Road” over the weekend …and if you did …you will never hold another door for someone without doing so. It will stay embedded in memory.

( Before starting this latest Steve Hartman story … have you ever wished like me that 1) I would love his job and 2) If we can clone animals, can’t we clone all the Steve Hartmans in the world… no doubt the world would be a better place for it!)

The story starts with a Cinderella ending that hides years of pain and abuse that precluded a moment of triumph. Lincoln East High School football star, Malachi Coleman announced he’ll be playing for the Nebraska Huskers… a dream come true and a catalyst to an amazing opportunity.

Twelve years earlier, Coleman’s mother left him and his younger sister, Nevaeh, by the side of the road and never returned. Coleman suffered abuse in foster care.

Eventually they were adopted together by an amazingly loving family, but there was so much damage to repair. ” He was a broken kid” says his dad, Craig Coleman and his mother, Miranda noticed that he ” only lived for today and nothing mattered in his life. ” By his own admission Malachi adds” I was a mean and selfish jerk who refused to do anything kind for anybody… after all nobody had really helped me… my trust was broken”

Everything changed when the Nebraska School Activities Association ruled that high school athletes could now profit off their name and likeness … it came as no surprise that Coleman was first in line … the real surprise was how he planned to spend it.

Coleman went to a favorite Mexican restaurant owner and offered to promote a burrito, on one condition… that a portion of the proceeds went to one cause – it had to go to the Foster Care system.

Nick Maestas, the owner, asked Hartman ” How do you not want to be on board with that? ”

Actually Coleman’s transformation had started a few years earlier after a long argument with his mother Miranda over his selfishness. She told Steve Hartman…” I threw out at least 100 ideas and finally completely exasperated, I said, ” What about holding a door … can you at least hold one door for one person? And finally he responded” I can hold a door.”

The next day at school he held a door for someone, then another and another and by Sunday he held the door for the entire congregation!

Now he says kindness has become his passion. It all began by holding one door for one person. ” Once I realized how good it makes me feel to help other people, it’s just something that I knew I wanted to continue.”

These days Malachi Coleman hopes to open many more important doors -the ones that lead to a ” forever” home for kids in foster care.

So until tomorrow… I don’t think Malachi is alone with his feelings concerning holding doors for strangers…it is that instant rush of gratification that fills us when we hold a door for someone. These days I feel like I have to fight for this privilege because with time ( and perhaps shrinkage) strangers want to hold doors for me… which is really nice but honestly… not as much as being the door holder. * Another observation from a ” maturing” point of view.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

My first white azalea!
I planted my moonflower seeds today and have to admit… it hurt after awhile being bent over for so long but I figure that memory will fade with the first bloom.
The beautiful pear blossoms are here!
Tears for Ukraine-Peace Doves

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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