Yesterday I was driving home from work and I saw an old man posted up in a chair on the corner of the street with a sign that read "Veteran, anything helps". Now this wasn't your typical bum posted up with the same signs you see all the time, looking really dirty and you can tell he is just trying to get his next drink or his next fix. This poor old man was not very dirty at all and did not look like any type of junky that you are used to seeing these days. I immediately felt very sad for this old man. I honked my horn to get his attention and he got up from his chair, grabbed his cane and very slowly limped his way through cars to get to me so I could give him a dollar that I had hanging out the window. A couple of the other cars around me also had dollars hanging out of their window.
Now I am usually very particular on the kind of bums I give money too. As soon as I saw him walking (limping) over I just had a really good feeling about it. I had a strong inkling that he wasn't going to go straight across the street to 7/11 and grab himself the cheapest beer he could find. Which right away reminded me of the incident that happened the day before at Roberto's Taco Shop where Preston and I had been eating. We had just finished our food and this guy walked in from the street and asked us something along the lines of "Could either of you spare a couple of dollars? I have two kids that I am trying to feed". Now this was the sort of bum I usually don't give my money too. When he brought up the two kids I started to feel bad but not bad enough to give him any money. Does that make me heartless? I don't think so.. Maybe I have a good eye for this kind of thing or maybe sometimes I just don't feel like giving my well earned money to bums. I'm not sure exactly why I didn't give this guy any money. After we said no, he asked some of the other people in the restaurant and I did see one family give him a couple bucks.
We then walked across the parking lot to purchase some water for our walk to the swap meet. As soon as we walked out, this same bum that just asked us for money FOR HIS TWO KIDS walked into the store and walked straight back to where the beer was sold. Did he use that couple of bucks for any type of food for his two kids?? Nope he sure as hell didn't. Did he not realize he just walked past two people that he just told he needed money for his kids and still went straight to the beer section? I guess not, cuz he was walking with no shame. All he wanted was his next drink.
It is shitty people like that, that makes me never want to give out my money to people who say they really need it. Honestly, when i see a bum with a sign that speaks the complete truth on what it is that he "needs" I am actually more willing to throw out some change or a buck. I mean right on dude. Thanks for being honest at least.
Now I'm not really sure where I was going with this but I can't get that old man from yesterday out of my head. But I felt really good after giving him that buck. Sometimes I think a very small random act of kindness can do just as much for the person receiving it as the person giving it.
So if anyone is reading this and you want to see some of those pictures I was talking about that may restore your faith in humanity, here are a couple links.