Kindness to strangers is always in style
Have you ever been down on your luck, or do you know someone down on their luck. Have you ever given ten dollars to a total stranger because they touched you in some way?
A few years ago I was out with a friend and we pulled into a 7-Eleven, and a guy in a brand new black Mercedes with out of state plates asked me if I could give him a dollar as he forgot his wallet and had no money for the toll to get home. Something about him told me he was telling the truth. I reached into my jeans pocket and handed him ten dollars. He was so grateful that he wanted to give me a Billy Joel CD and I said no thank you. I’ve been there too, so no problem.
I got into the car and my friend asked what just happened since she watched the whole thing from the car. She said, he asked me because "like likes like". Meaning he could relate to me and that is why he asked me in the first place. Whatever, it just felt good helping him. He now had the money for coffee and the toll home.
The homeless aren't invisible
I often go into Manhattan and I do give money to homeless people from time to time. I am amazed at the amount of people who seem to think they are invisible. What if they were your kid, uncle, brother, or neighbor? It can’t be fun begging people for money. It can’t be fulfilling. Deep down inside I believe they would all rather be doing something to earn that money, but for some reason they presently can’t. So I part with some change or a dollar. It makes very little difference to me, but it could mean a real big deal to them.
You never know what your kindness might mean to someone
In 1998 I was in Galway City in Ireland, and this woman was begging on the street in front of a store I was entering. I was going home soon and hadn’t spent nearly as much money as I expected I would on this trip, so I handed the lady twenty punts which was about thirty in American dollars. She said thank you without looking at the amount, and I went inside. When I came out she was waiting for me. She thanked me profusely, and told me she could now buy some medicine for her baby. She said I was the kindest person she had met in an awfully long time. It touched me beyond what I could possibly imagine. My giving to her turned out to be a gift to myself. She asked God to bless me right there on the streets of Galway. We never usually know the depths of our little kindnesses to others, but she drove that point home to me. She wasn’t a drunkard or a crazy person; she was a mother who needed help to her next paycheck.
Pay it forward with kindness
The next time you see someone needing help I hope you will extend some. It will not only make you feel good about yourself, but you might make a very real difference in someone's life. A difference that might cause some vibrations and make others feel like their faith in humanity has been restored.
© Margaret Bennett