"The Greatest Gift of All"
The author wishes to remain anonymous
When I first moved to my neighborhood ten years ago, I saw a homeless person sitting on the corner almost daily begging for change. I always refused and instead would encourage him to move to a homeless shelter or some such haven.
Some years passed and I happened to work in the neighborhood for a time and would occasionally see him at a coffee or sandwich shop. Having read some "Doses of Kindness*," I started to buy him whatever he wanted from the menu and always encouraged him to order something extra, usually a soda.
As the years passed I realized that this man's sickness was deeper than I could ever hope to help him with and so I started to give him money--a few dollars here a five dollar bill there. I always made a point to have a word with him, to ask how he's doing.
I was thrilled a few weeks ago during an especially cold winter snap when he told me that he could really use some underwear and socks. I ran home gathered a few items and brought it back to him.
Recently he has gotten into the habit asking me for money when he sees me in my car--usually more timidly than he normally behaves. About a month ago I started stopping on the corner, and because parking is so difficult there, waving him over to give him money and ask him how he is faring.
Every time I give this man money and every time I share a few words with him I become aware of the millions of blessings that I enjoy in my life.
Just the other day it suddenly occurred to me that the few minutes I give him without any judgment may in fact be the greatest gift of all.
Thank you for encouraging me.
The Daily Dose of Kindness e-mail is available at http://www.TraditionOfKindness.org