Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Be nice.

I wasn't sure if I should post this. I think when you do something nice you shouldn't really blow your horn about it because it takes away from the nice act. Sort of a "see what I did? aren't I so nice?"

Takes away from the nice for someone else when it turns into something that is all about you.

So I'm not posting this for anyone to give me a pat on the back - that isn't my intent - but maybe you will go out and do something nice for someone else o.k? That is the intent of this post. See someone that needs something and be nice to them. Could be as simple as a smile and a word of encouragement.

When I was in TX a couple of teenagers approached me for money. It's a rule of mine I won't give money. Besides, usually I simply don't have it... if I have money, you can bet it's burning a hole in my pocket and it's easily frittered away.

One of the kids said - as I walked away after shaking him off - "We're just really hungry..."

I turned around and told him if he was hungry I'd buy him lunch.

I've offered to buy lunch for people asking me for money on the street before and no one has ever taken me up on it. This kid's eyes just lit up. Lit up. "Really? You will?"

It broke my heart.

He was dirty and smelly and you had to get around his mohawk and tough looking exterior. He and his friend followed me to Twin Sisters. One waited outside with their small dog. Mohawk came inside with me and I told him he could order whatever he wanted from the menu.

I had to laugh on the inside because in typical teenage fashion, he ordered 2 turkey sammiches with no sprouts, no mustard, no mayo, no tomatoes.... just meat, cheese and bread. I think that is exactly how I ordered my sammiches when I was 16. He looked up from under his eyebrows and quietly asked if he might have a drink too. I told him he should get 2 drinks. One for his friend. I told him to share with his dog o.k.?

The kid thanked me a ga-zillion times. Once woulda been plenty. The more he thanked me the worse I felt.

I don't know his story. Could be a million and one different reasons why he is on the street. Could be he was a complete scam artist. He sure didn't smell like it and he was the most polite and thankful kid so I doubt it was just a dare to see if he could get someone to buy him lunch.

Once he left with his sammiches and drinks... I shoulda felt glad I did something. Quite the opposite happened. I felt so sad. Felt like I shoulda done more... maybe I shoulda bought him 4 sammiches - some for later. Maybe I shoulda said something to let him know he was cared about. He's gotta be someone's son. Someone's grandson. Someone, somewhere is worried about that kid.

And I thought, for all the silly worry I have for paying bills sometimes, no matter how tight things get at our house. I have so much more. I have so many loving friends and my wonderful Furry Husband at home. I can recognize the love that is in my life all around me. I don't have to live on the street.

Be thankful for what you have even when times are hard and things seem pretty crappy. Share when you can with others. Be nice. K?


Kelley said...

It does make me sad... and sadder when I won't help because so many people are on the scam..... I'm glad you were listening and open minded enough to take a chance. I'll do the same. Thanks for the reminder!!

~Tonia said...

Ahh geez talk about breaking your heart!! So glad you helped him..

Fyyahchild said...

Great post Shanster. Once when I was in highschool I was walking home and I passed a man who was obviously homeless. As we passed I looked him in the eye (even though I was a little nervous) and said, "hello" in a clear voice and smiled at him as I walked by.

He stopped with a suprised look. "You know a person like you isn't supposed to talk to a person like me?" I remember shrugging not knowing what to say and he just kinda lit up. "Thank you. Made my day." And continued down the road. I didn't have anything to give that man except a little human kindness. I also remember thinking I should have been happy to make him smile. He was obviously having a tough time in life, but it just made me so sad that I cried most of the way home. I will never forget that, and I try to never treat people like they don't exist.

Anonymous said...

Shanster: Thanks for sharing your moment of kindness. It inspired me to be a little more aware of the people around me and see if there is a way that I can make a small difference for some one else.

And thanks for not being afraid to engage with these kids. You took the time to see them and acknowledge a legitimate need that they had. Good for you!!!!!

DebH said...

I woulda done the same...and it only takes a minute to size things up sometimes! I think you are a gem!! I don't care if you don't want that pat on the back..you deserve a Huge hug for that! You are definitely one in a million...too bad more aren't like you, boy would this be a better place!

Shanster said...

Thanks everyone - it's pretty sad when you do look around at all the people in need and we certainly can't help them all and yet we are all good people and try to do our best. I certainly have my bad moments and all we can do is try to affect the people we come across in a good way vs. bad.

I think all of you are very kind and good people and you all deserve great big hugs too!