Back in January, I posted “a model for giving.” This is part two, I suppose.
Last Friday, it was a rainy morning. It hardly ever rains here in Pasadena, but it was coming down pretty hard on Friday. I love it, because it gives me an excuse to wear my rain jacket and slosh around in puddles and stuff.
I left for work at about 7:55 AM since I live about a five minute walk from where I work, and when I was halfway there I was crossing a street. I looked up and coming towards me on the crosswalk was one of the local ‘transients’ who hangs out and lives in our neighborhood (actually, I think he lives in the parking garage next door to our apartment, but am not sure). He thankfully had a rain jacket as well, and was carrying a brown box/bag with him, trying to keep it from getting soaked.
I made eye contact with him, smiled, and said good morning. He returned the greeting, then asked with a big smile if I had had breakfast yet and if I wanted a donut. He reached into the bag and started grabbing a donut for me, but I assured him that I had eaten a good breakfast but told him that I really appreciated the offer. He asked me if I was sure, and then proceeded on his way.
How many times have I walked past him, or any other homeless/transient/hungry people (with or without knowing it), carrying bags full of groceries without stopping to think about giving some of it away? Not out of pity or charity, but just because it’s a nice and friendly thing to do?
Sometimes I feel like I’ve been sucked up into a culture that thinks it’s creepy or a scam to get something for free from someone you don’t know, or that if you give something away without being 100% sure of its efficacy you are a ‘sucker’ or were ‘ripped off.’
I feel like there is something incredibly freeing when I give something away without thinking about it – it’s a small step away from my materialism, arrogance, and false pretense of security based on the things I pretend I own and deserve.
Thank God for the lessons found in a five second window of time on a rainy Friday morning…how often do I miss these?