I Bought A Homeless Man A Coffee, And He Gave Me Something Way Better In Return
Start writing a post

I Bought A Homeless Man A Coffee, And He Gave Me Something Way Better In Return

7 beautiful lessons I learned from the Peter, the man along my commute.

I Bought A Homeless Man A Coffee, And He Gave Me Something Way Better In Return

When I walked up to the homeless man I pass on my commute every day with two cups of coffee in my shaking hands, I didn't know what to expect. With a nervous smile on my face, I said "excuse me" in the loudest voice I could muster.

At that moment, I panicked. I realized that probably the last thing a complete stranger wants to do is to spend 15 minutes of their day talking to a girl with a purple backpack and a ribbon in her hair about their life. But the smiling face that looked up at me and said, "What can I do for you?" immediately calmed my nerves.

In early November, while studying in a crowded square, I watched a woman treat a homeless man like he was absolutely nothing. The whole day, the horror of what had happened plagued me as I thought about the fact that people are people, even if they don't have a home at the moment. They have a life, they have a family, and they have feelings. So I decided that the next day I would bring a beggar a cup of hot coffee, and try to get to know them better.

I can honestly say that I'm so glad I did. Not only did Peter (that's his name), teach me about himself, but he also taught me a lesson or two about life. It wasn't just the big overarching themes, but also little details. We talked about love and his childhood and his dreams. I learned what I already knew: that he had a whole life before he got to this bridge.

Chivalry is not dead

As I went to go sit down next to him on the pavement, he stopped me. I got nervous, thinking he had changed his mind about letting me get to know him. He simply said, "No, I'll stand up. You're a lady, you're wearing a nice skirt, and you shouldn't have to get it dirty." It was a small gesture, but it was kind, and it has stayed with me ever since.

Everyone has a hometown

I learned that Peter is from the Czech Republic, about 100 miles Southeast of Prague. I know that the statement "everyone has a hometown" seems obvious, but hearing Peter talk about where he grew up and why he loves it was so personal, and every person you walk by has a story just like it.

No act of kindness is too small

When I asked Peter something that had happened that made him smile recently, his response had me grinning from ear to ear. "That's easy", he said, "definitely someone stopping with a cup of coffee and wanting to get to know me." Knowing that taking 15 minutes out of my day to do something nice for someone made a difference to them made not only my day, but my week. It taught me that even if you think an act of kindness is small, it could make all the difference.

You don't always know when you're in love

The first time he fell in love, he was 12...and he had no idea. "Being in love is wanting to spend all your time with someone, you know? You think about them all the time, and you don't feel like yourself when you're not with them. That's all love is," he told me.

Try to be more tolerant of others

One of my favorite things that Peter said to me was, "I just wish people tried a little more tolerance with one another. The truth is that no one knows what anyone else's life is like. Just be tolerant, or at least try." #preach

Don't stop dreaming

I found out that Peter dreams of visiting Greece one day. Even though it's not in the cards right now, he said that he'll make it there one day. This stuck with me, because so often we let go of our dreams because they don't seem like they could happen today. But tomorrow could change everything, so keep dreaming.

Don't make assumptions, and be kind.

When I talked to Peter, he opened up to me about what hurts him the most about people's rash assumptions. "I'm not here because I do drugs," he confided. "The only thing I'm addicted to is coffee. I've never done drugs, and I never will. People would know that if they asked, but they don't, they just assume that they know me." So be kind, and don't make assumptions about people you don't know.

When I walked up to him, I never would have guessed that he could teach me so much about life in just 15 short minutes, but he did. I almost walked away last minute, nervous that he wouldn't want to talk to me or wouldn't be open to letting a complete stranger steal his time. But I'm so glad I did.

So next time you walk by a homeless person on your commute, remember that they have a name, they have a story, and they have a life.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Rap Songs With A Deeper Meaning

Rap is more than the F-bomb and a beat. Read what artists like Fetty, Schoolboy Q, Drake, and 2Pac can teach you.

Rap artist delivers performance on stage
Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

On the surface, rap songs may carry a surface perception of negativity. However, exploring their lyrics reveals profound hidden depth.Despite occasional profanity, it's crucial to look beyond it. Rap transcends mere wordplay; these 25 song lyrics impart valuable life lessons, offering insights that extend beyond the conventional perception of rap music.

Keep Reading...Show less

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

Maybe don't try them all in one day...

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

My 21st birthday is finally almost here. In honor of finally turning 21, I thought I'd share 21 fun drinks since it's finally legal for me to drink them.

Some of these drinks are basic, but some of them are a little more interesting. I thought they all looked pretty good and worth trying, so choose your favorites to enjoy at your big birthday bash!

Keep Reading...Show less

Ancient Roman Kings: 7 Leaders of Early Rome

The names and dates of the reigns of the first four kings, as well as the alternation of Sabin and Latin names, are more legendary than historical. The last three kings, of Etruscan origin, have an existence which seems less uncertain.

inside ancient roman building
Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

It is evident that all this is only a legend although archeology shows us little by little that these kings if they did not exist as the ancient history, describes them, have at least in the very Outlines were real as chief of a shepherd’s tribe. The period when kings ruled Rome could estimate at 245 years.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Love Lost

Being the girl that is falling for the boy is never easy.

Love Lost

You constantly text my phone telling me that you want to see me and hang out, even though we may not have sex we cuddle and that’s intimacy in its own. I’m tired of buying you food and being there for you like a girlfriend when you consistently tell me you aren't ready for a girlfriend. I am constantly feeling I’m getting slapped in the face because I’m doing all these things and getting nothing in return. Every day I feel myself liking you more which is just crazy because why would I even waste my time liking someone there isn’t a future with. I just want you to be honest with me and with yourself, tell me how you feel from your heart, stop just saying you aren’t ready. You are wasting time telling me you aren’t ready because while you are “getting ready” some guy somewhere else is telling me that he likes me and thinks I’m beautiful and wants to date me. I’m not asking for much, but I at least want exclusivity because you ask me for all these things but in return you give me nothing.

Keep Reading...Show less
Pretty Little Liars

From reading the books in eighth grade to watching the television show all throughout high school, "Pretty Little Liars"basically defined my teenage existence. I was completely and totally obsessed on all accounts. However, even though I loved the fact that the books and the show are starkly different, there are simply just some ways in which the books are much better. Let's take a look:

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments