Chief Judge Frank Caprio gave this man a huge break.

It’s not uncommon for people to fall upon hard times, especially in today’s world. So when you hear about a story of a good person getting a deserved break, you can’t help but get the warm and fuzzies inside.

That’s exactly how we feel after hearing about this man who had his day in court and the inspiring parting message one judge had for him.

Falling Upon Hard Times

an elderly judge

There are all kinds of cases on Chief Judge Frank Caprio’s TV show, Caught in Providence. That is, after all, where “real people have their cases heard.” But one recent case inspired plenty of people after it aired, thanks to the judge’s kind actions and his powerful message.

In a clip shared on the show’s Facebook page, viewers met a motorist named Daniel Murray, who showed up to court with less than a dollar to his name. He had been summoned for parking violations that totaled $250 in fines. Unfortunately, Murray wasn’t in a position where he could afford to pay them off.

“I have no money. Not right now,” he said, noting he had $0.98 in his bank account and that he currently runs youth lacrosse programs, which hadn’t yet started up for the season.

Murray also revealed he had walked to court that morning, a five-mile walk that took him about an hour and a half. He also planned on walking home once court was finished. At that point, all Murray was asking for was to be able to defer the tickets until his cash flow increased.

Getting a Break in Court

man with a beard standing in front of a mic

Whether it was Murray’s story, his penchant for helping the youth, his commitment to getting to court, or his great manners, Judge Caprio was impressed. He noted how someone had donated $25 to his Philomena Fund, named after his mother, just that morning. He then told Murray to take the money.

“I want you to take an Uber so you don’t have to walk back,” he explained, waving the cash at him.

The motorist refused at first and insisted he didn’t mind, but then he graciously accepted the funds. “Thank you very much. You saved me a great deal of time today — and money.”

The judge’s good mood didn’t end there. “We’re gonna help you out with these fines,” he continued. “We’re going to use this fund to pay for your fine, so you’re gonna be all set… Let’s hope things turn out for you.”

Murray was flabbergasted at the kind and unexpected gesture. “Wow, thank you so much. That’s more than generous,” he finally said.

But the Judge Had One Condition

As Judge Caprio continued explaining where the money was going to come from, he revealed there was a condition. Murray, believing the judge wanted him to turn his life around, promised he wouldn’t get any more tickets and that Caprio would not see him back in court. But that wasn’t what the judge meant at all.

Instead, the judge wanted Murray to remember how he felt at that moment. And when the time came, he wanted Murray to give back as well.

“That’s our part; you have to do your part,” he said. “You have to help somebody else. There are an awful lot of people out there who have similar problems, and you are going to be in a situation to help them,” he continued.

“Don’t forget them. Remember how you felt? So you have to give back.”

The Importance of Paying It Forward

One of the reasons this story is getting so much traction is that Judge Caprio’s parting message is a universal lesson. Who among us hasn’t been down in life? And how heartwarming is it when someone else steps in to help you?

Through his actions, the judge reminds us that we all have the power to help make a difference in someone else’s life.

It doesn’t have to be huge; it could be a $25 donation for a person to take an Uber home. Or it could look completely different, like volunteering your time with a youth group, coaching a sport, or donating to a worthy cause.

The point is we all go through hard times. But when things are going well, it’s important to give back. After all, there’s nothing more beautiful than living a life full of balance.