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Greek Baker Gives Would-be Thief a Job — Changing His Life Forever

Greek baker
A Greek baker gave a boy a second chance at life and the boy returned to thank him 25 years later. Credit: Flickr.com user “FotoDawg”/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

A Greek baker, Giannis Vitsaras, once offered a twelve-year-old boy who tried to steal from him a job rather than calling the police on him. Twenty-five years later, the boy, now a successful college graduate and father of two, returned to thank his mentor and former boss.

Greek baker gives job to would-be thief

Vitsaras was invited to speak to interviewers on MEGA TV on Tuesday to tell his story involving the then 12-year-old boy which occurred 25 years ago in Heraklion, on the island of Crete.

The Greek baker caught the boy trying to steal from his store, but decided, rather than chastising him, to have an honest conversation with him. Vitsaras did not call the police or even lecture him; instead, he chose to tell him calmly that stealing would likely impact him in a negative way and that it was not the right path for a young boy to go down.

He told the young lad to come and work for him at the bakery instead, whenever he had free time — and so he did: according to Vitsaras’ memory, the boy came to work for three entire summers. This allowed him to learn the self-respect that comes of making an honest living — and very likely changed the trajectory of his life.

Twenty-five years later, 37-year-old is grateful

“At one point his family moved and I lost him for years. Yesterday, the child, now a 37-year-old man, came and found me,” Vitsaras told the interviewers with emotion.

“He thanked me and told me that in that moment, in the way I dealt with it, I showed him the right way of life. He graduated from university and he started a family,” Vitsaras told the audience with satisfaction.

“After 25 years, he came to find me and to thank me for the path he set and the stimuli I gave him. He is 37 years old today, he has graduated from a computer science university and has two children,” he related with a bit of the natural pride of a father.

The Greek baker remained humble, however, insisting that he was the one who owed the twelve-year-old boy a thank you. He stated that he wanted to thank him for actually taking the opportunity he was given, listening to his elders — and changing his own life.

“This is what we have to do when we see a child with difficulties: we must protect him,” Vitsaras stated, insisting that he believes anyone could have done what he did to set the boy on the right path in life.

“He came to give me a big thank you, but it’s actually I who owes him one,” concluded Vitsaras.

Uplifting stories like these never fail to remind people what one good deed can mean to someone and how these small acts of kindness can multiply over time.

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