When Kyle was growing up I was always telling him stories. Now that he is on his own a little when we get together more and more he has his own stories to tell. On the way home from picking him up from his first year of college he told me a touching story about an acquaintance named Kenneth. Kyle met Kenneth when they were paired together for an accounting assignment but they had very little contact beyond that.
One night Kenneth called. “Kyle, I know you don’t know me very well, but my birthday is this week and my dad called the Campus Caf? and paid for a birthday party for me and eleven of my friends. I wondered if you would like to come?”
“Well, sure, Kenneth,” Kyle said.
Kenneth said, “If you want to you can invite some friends. I really don’t know that many people.”
Kenneth was a nice guy but he was a first-year student and he was quiet so he hadn’t made many friends yet. Kyle called some friends and explained the situation to them. They all agreed to try to make Kenneth’s birthday special for him.
When they got to the Caf? they were the only guests Kenneth had. They spent the evening with him and got to know each other. It was a good evening. They all enjoyed themselves.
Kyle said the day he left campus there was a message on his voice mail from Kenneth. He said, “Kyle I just wanted to call and say good-bye before we go home. It was nice getting to know you. I just want to thank you for being my friend.”
I was grateful to have a son who was a friend to the friendless. I hope it would be a life-long pattern. The world is full of friendless people and it’s not hard to be friendly.
Kyle said; “I felt especially good about it because his name was Kenneth, like yours.”
Kenneth L. Pierpont
Riverfront Character Inn International Conference Center
July 27, 2003