Since it's the holiday season and everyone is bombarded with Christmas carols and Salvation Army Santa Clauses, I just wanted to write something positive... or, well, positive depending on how you look at it. I read this article in Yahoo! [link]
and, in all my sappiness this holidays, it made me smile knowing that kindness still walks this jaded world.
Of course, I have hopes that many of us still do these random acts of kindness when we least expect it. So in the spirit of the holidays that's about to come, why don't we share these little stories? I'm sure you have your little tales of everyday heroism or good deeds.
Lately, have you done anything to help another person or animal just because you can? If so, share it!
My own story was several weeks back, which is kind of sad in retrospect because I should be doing this more often. I was driving home from my town's local mall. I just got out of work and dropped my boss off there because he left his car there for a show. I was about to turn into Mowry Avenue when I saw this thin young man with a placard - you know those ones that pretty much tell you the worse possible life stories in the world? He was homeless and asking for something, of course, but unlike other people who solicit money from drivers, he was merely asking for food, something to sustain him and give him strength to find another way of living.
I fought down the urge to roll my eyes and simply ignore him, because I see those kind of people often enough that it was easy not to care. But then I remembered that I had a peanut butter sandwich in my bag. It was supposed to be my breakfast but work picked up so quickly that morning that I wasn't able to eat before my lunch break, which by then I went out to get something more substantial.
I knew that the sandwich will just be forgotten and thrown away, since I was going to see a friend later that day and I would most likely eat dinner at home. Still, there was that inexplicable possessiveness that I had to swallow, an ugly stinginess that I think every human being has and must overcome. What would being nice to this person do for me? Should I even bother? After all, some people are just out there to leech off others. Why should I encourage such behavior?
But as I pulled up at the stop sign, I berated myself for even thinking such things, for contemplating and judging people I don't even know. What if the guy was simply on the edge, rendered helpless by some factor in his life that he couldn't help? The damn sandwich will just be wasted anyway, so why not give it to the man who was probably starving his ribs off?
So I reached over, lowered my windows (though I was still wary and only lowered it enough so I can pass the bag to him), and handed the sandwich to him. I even apologized, I think, because that it was all I can give him. I didn't even dare look at him in the eye, ashamed for some reason. I don't even know if he said anything. All I know was that he took the sandwich right before I had to drive into the street.
I looked into my rear-view mirror afterwards, wanting to know if my actions (and the honk I got for idling at the stop sign) was worth it. Probably it was, because I smiled to myself when I saw him eating it immediately after I left.