Yet again, Shaquille O’Neal blew our mind with an amazing gesture. A video of Shaq walking into a jewelry store, and covering the bill for someone’s engagement ring, went viral. This is the last of many moments we found out about that proved Shaq is one of basketball’s greatest ambassadors.
At first, we assumed Shaq just dropped in and decided to treat the young man, which would be amazing to itself, but there’s more to the story that we could make out of the short video. O’Neal pointed out he doesn’t do things like these for the publicity but occasionally talks about them to inspire others to be kind to each other and make each other smile. Shaq shared what made him chose this particular young man.
“He was just so shy; he was saying, ‘Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?‘ I didn’t mean for it to get out; I don’t do it for that. He’s a young kid, a hard-working guy; he was like ‘I can come back the next month, and then the next month’…[he had the ring on] layaway.”Shaquille O’Neal, NBA on TNT
At first, the young man didn’t want to accept it, it was too much. Shaq was having none of that – it just confirmed his hunch the guy deserves it. That’s the thing with Shaq; he responds to people who are humble and hard-working. Seeing someone who puts in an honest day’s work trying to manage these tough times, paying off an engagement ring in installments, meets the Shaq-a-Claus criteria.
“This is something that I do every day. The other day, me and my mom went furniture shopping, and this lady, she had an autistic daughter. She was looking to pay for some furniture, and I took care of that. I’m into making people happy. When I leave the house, I try to do a good deed. I’m just trying to make people smile, that’s all.”Shaquille O’Neal, NBA on TNT
When Kobe passed away, we all had a reality check about not wasting a single day. Days after the tragedy, Shaq was apologizing to people he had disagreements with on live TV, saying he will do better to appreciate the good in people and letting them know how much he cares for them. It’s great to see Shaq living that way every day – especially because meeting Kobe for the first time, when Mamba was just 16, made a big impact on Shaq’s larger-than-life persona.
We should all take a lesson from Dr. O’Neal and try and make people smile every day. It doesn’t have to be an engagement ring or some furniture. A small gesture can do the trick.