I’d like to share a posting from the Facebook page “Paying it Forward ~ One Day at a Time.” The author, Beth, shares a truly inspirational and beautiful story:
Tonight is one that I won’t easily be able to forget — and for good reason.
There’s this homeless man that I see VERY often, and it’s always hard to drive past him; especially in these atrocious weather conditions. Earlier today, as I drove past, we made eye contact and he waved.
My heart instantly sank. I think about him a LOT throughout the week, but that moment today was when I knew something had to happen. I felt like such a bad person driving away as this poor man sat on his usual spot on the picnic bench; in literally freezing cold conditions with no more than the coat and pants he had on.
I drove home and collected two big warm blankets, a towel, soaps and lotions and little toiletries that have been taken from hotels throughout the years, instantly eatable food with protein shakes, gloves, a hat, and thick socks, and a few other things that may or may not be handy during this frigid winter.
The more stuff I put in the bag, the more I thought about that man. The more I realized how much we take for granted without even meaning to. Earlier in the day I was complaining how cold my hands were when I was digging my car out of the snow- this man has been living in it for who knows how long. Earlier, I complained that my feet were cold when my socks got wet from some left over snow residue in the carpet. How long has that man had cold wet feet? I see him all the time out there…
Words can’t describe the moment of pure gratification and hope that flashed in that man’s eyes when the bags of supplies were placed by his feet. Not much was said, but a beautiful, hopeful, grateful hug was exchanged before parting ways.
I’m so immensely grateful for every little thing after today. I like to think that I don’t take things for granted, but I do. We all do, without meaning to.
I recently read something about an anthropologist that had proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the children that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that when one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said, ‘UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?’ (‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: ‘I am because we are’).
I wish I could do more, and I wish I could help more people… but I do what I can when I can and I think that’s important for everyone to practice.