Kindness plays a crucial role in helping Jackson Jackson achieve his goal. At one point, Jackson tells Officer Williams about his father, who had been a tribal policeman and was a kind man. It is clear that compassion and generosity have remained important values to Jackson—even if he cannot always live up to his ideals. Throughout the story, Jackson acquires money through other people’s kind gifts. He has a remarkable inability to hang on to money, however; instead, he shares it with others, apparently always gauging their need to be greater than his own. At one point, luck intervenes, and he wins money in the lottery. Then, as well, he shares his good fortune with others.
In the long run, Jackson’s soft heart and the pawnshop owner’s kindness are proven equivalent. When Officer Williams suggests taking legal action against the shop owner for having stolen regalia, Jackson refuses, reasoning that the man did not knowingly receive stolen goods. At the end of his twenty-four-hour saga, Jackson returns without having raised enough money—which was certainly the owner’s expectation—and receives the regalia as a gift. Jackson’s own generosity has come back to reward him. As the title implies, he has reaped as he sowed.