A Lesson From The Streets from a HOMELESS WOMAN
There is a woman who has made a career of begging as she has been “homeless “ for over 20 years….She has an addiction and do not want to abide by the rules of shelters or her children so the streets is her way of being “free” to live her life as she chooses.
I did not know her history at the time, I passed her many times and never gave her a dime…mainly because she had gotten so comfortable that she had a corner she “owned “and sat on her box and you would have to nearly get out of the car to give her a donation…I felt she could at least come to the window…
One day as faith would have it… she came up to my window I had just sold a large painting and was feeling very blessed and whenever I get money , one of my first thoughts is who can I help by giving them part of what I call my “personal tithe” to help others in need.
As she stood at my vehicle’s door I smiled and gave her a twenty dollar bill…she looked at it and her eyes lit up a she said with enthusiasm “where have you been all my life?”…. I had been right there in her life everyday, she did not notice me because I gave her nothing until that day…. Now I was somebody in her life, but I really wasn’t anybody in her life except only for that special day…
It was all the people who had regularly dropped by and gave her a quarter or a dollar, she may have never received no more than a 5 dollar bill at anyone time…but it was all those people giving her a little each day that kept her sustained for twenty years!!!, not me…Her gratitude was being placed in the wrong place
I drove away with thoughts running thru my mind, it was an example of something that I had seen in the organizations that my Spouse and I had done thousands of dollars worth of labor and gave in building material and services, but it was shown to me in a smaller light.
It reminded me of the joy I saw come across the face of the person in charge of a project speak loudly and proudly of the occasional politician or business person who would come in a drop off a check donation and was shown far more appreciation than the people who gave up their Saturday and Sundays laboring to make the project work…the check would not compensate one days labor of the people who were really making things happen.
This lesson has made me aware to not just give a person my gratitude based on a seemingly large amount, that is given to me one and maybe only one time, How many people in your life have you taken for granted because they “gave you so little” and then praise the one who give so much…but it has been the little on a regular basis … the ones of whom is really there and adds up to so much more
1. Consistency count
2. be grateful for the “regular people” in my life.
3. Make being given to … easy on the giver
4. Appreciation for all gifts…
(I never gave the homeless lady any money again …as when she would see me I felt she would be expecting what I was not willing to give her on a regular basis…And she still sat by the road …as knowing that some would go out of their way to throw or strength out their arms usually holding up traffic as she would then get up to get the coins.)
Thanks are always to given …no matter how small the gift may be.
I will end this homeless story with a bit of humor.
My husband gives to people on the corner much more than I ….I like the ones who have pencils or flowers or something to sell …or I feel the urge to give and I will turn around and drive back do that when the “spirit hits me”.
One day this lady (another woman) a regular on the corner on our way home…He gave her a dollar and she looked at it and said “oooooooooooooh a dollar!! (With sarcasm)
My husband was so upset it was a long time before he ever gave her again. And the leg she use to drag behind her one day I guess she forgot and was dragging the other leg….
So there is much game on the corners and there are some who really do need help…I believe there should be something in place maybe where homeless people could be used to clean the street corners where they beg and business people in the area could contribute in food, money or service to help them (just a thought)
And I believe more people would donate to people standing with a sense of dignity in a clean area that shows that they do want to do what they can, and of course I know that some are mentally ill and that is another post altogether.