This thought isn’t about what I did, it’s about what I didn’t do and I’m sharing this to maybe get others to think. Having said that, please don’t reply about me and what I did. That isn’t the result I’m looking to get. Also, I don’t do this for everyone I meet, it’s a case by case basis. Here it is…
This fellow was wandering through a parking lot today asking people if they had a dollar, four people turned him away. I hopped in the van before he could get to me so I could scope him out for a minute. First thing I noticed was the full pack with a sleeping bag so I figured he wasn’t from around here. I drove over to where he was walking away, pulled up and started talking to him. I asked him where he was headed and he said Georgia. Asked where he was coming from and he said Maine. Reasons for being on the road, his people in Maine were addicted to drugs and alcohol and so was he. I asked what kind of stuff did he get into and he said heroin, meth, pills… I cut him off and said, all the above? He said yeah and he had some friends in Atlanta he was going to live with. His main concern was he wanted to know if there was food pantry or soup kitchen anywhere around, that’s what he kept asking about. He was more interested in that than money. I already had a ten laid out of sight in my lap to give him, but after talking to him I reached in my wallet and pulled out a twenty. He was elated and thanked me profusely. I asked permission to get his pic, told him I like to hear people’s stories. He was happy to oblige.
He made a beeline for Publix and as I drove away I got to thinking about what I didn’t do. I could have given him the cash to help him along, but still taken him in Shikis for a meal and actually spent time with him. I considered going back, but I had a metal roof I had to get on before it got any hotter.
Thinking about it further, I could have taken him to get a bite to eat and then taken him to Publix to pick out some stuff that would travel in his pack to last him a week.
Then I got to thinking about how dirty he was and how he could have used some new clean socks and underwear. A box of wet wipes would have come in handy also.
That led me to think about how cool it would have been to take him for something to eat, to the grocery store, then Walmart for some clean clothes and then drop him off at a motel and pay for a nights stay so he could shower, have a soft dry bed to rest in, AC and some time to enjoy TV.
So why would someone like him deserve to be given anything? After all, he made the choices that put him where he is. First of all, I know that I could have been him if I didn’t have the right people and circumstances in my life to guide me in a better direction. Secondly, even though I’ve got bills to pay, I knew I would be going home to my family tonight, to a hot meal, a cup of coffee, a shower and a soft bed. He’s going to be sleeping under a bridge or on the side of the road… alone. I’ve got lots of people that love me and jobs to make more money. And… there is a chance that he will end up a statistic, but that one day that someone was truly kind to him will swell his heart up enough to carry him through for awhile.
I’m a firm believer that the energy you give out is what you get back. We still have a ways to go to get it all together, but putting out that good energy is what the Happy Naked Frog is all about. You can’t successfully fight the bad in the world, but you can damn sure perpetuate the good. – Coov