It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to people.
As sad as it sounds, I used to think a lot of the people that sit outside a store or on the side of the road holding signs saying, “homeless” or “needs help” were just people trying to take advantage of good people out there. Now I know there really are people out there that need help, but I’ve heard so many stories about others asking for money and then getting in a car and driving away. Or they ask for money and you see them go into a store and buy beer or cigarettes.
I recently had a big change of heart. As my boyfriend and I were leaving a fancy restaurant that cost far too much, we stopped at a red light where there was a man standing holding a sign “need help, God bless,” and for some reason I felt like I had to do something. I looked around the truck and I found a bottle of water that hadn’t been opened yet. I climbed into the backseat on the driver’s side and rolled the window down. I said, “Sir, here you go.” I knew it wasn’t much but I knew I would have regretted not giving him something. His face lit up. He ran over to the truck with a big smile on his face and said, “Oh thank you!” Before he had gotten back to where he was standing he had already opened the bottle and started drinking. He was one of the ones that really needed help. I felt a wave of emotions come over me and my body felt warm, a happy warm, like it was telling me I did the right thing.
Now I don’t need a pat on the back or someone telling me I did the right thing because I don’t deserve it. There are many times where I could have helped others and chose not to because I didn’t know if they really needed the help. I would think, “I’m just a college student, others have much more to give then I do.” Now how selfish of me to think that. That man was happy over a bottle of water… It goes to show you that you don’t need to throw down $100 to help someone; every little bit counts and will mean the world to that someone who truly needs it.
In hindsight that man gave me far more than I could ever give him. He made me realize that even if someone is standing outside asking for something, that you should always give. There may be some that are just out there trying to take advantage, but there are also others that really need a little kindness. I’d take giving to five people who don’t need it and to one that actually does than not giving at all.
It’s quite amazing what one small moment can do… It can change your entire way of seeing things. It’s the little things that make a difference.
I’m extremely grateful that life let me happen upon this moment. I really can’t stress this enough… It’s the little things.