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By John Pierce

True generosity is not based on what one gets in return. Yet while we don’t (or shouldn’t) give in order to receive – it often works that way.

It did for veteran Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson who suffered a major ankle injury last week in a game against the New York Mets.

Hudson and his wife Kim are widely appreciated for the charitable work they do in person and through their foundation. Particularly, they are known for brightening the dark experiences of children who are seriously ill.

Suddenly, the tables turned.

Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the staff and patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta made it their mission to let Huddy know he was loved.

Early messages of support to the Hudsons included snapshots of young patients holding baseballs inscribed with get-well messages. The staff dressed in Braves attire in tribute to a faithful friend and the hospital even served baseball fare in his honor.

The world of professional sports is so often marked by big egos and big money, scandals and win-at-any-cost abuse to one’s self and others.

But this tragic incident at the first-base bag revealed the best of humanity in the sports spotlight. Eric Young Jr., the Mets player who accidently inflicted the injury, was most remorseful. He rushed to Hudson’s side immediately, expressed his sorry when the pitcher was placed on a stretcher, and then wiped tears from his eyes as he walked back to the dugout.

His expression of kindness was just the first. Kids with much bigger concerns than a crushed ankle quickly reached out to one of their heroes.

Oh, what lessons to be learned – including the reality that sowing seeds of kindness often results in a bumper crop of goodness in return.

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