Today, after I dropped my husband off at work, I passed a gentleman holding a sign that said "Will Work For Food." I have seen these signs numerous times in my life and am always a little saddened that situations in this person's life have gotten so that he or she can't afford a basic necessity such as food. (Although, I have to say that a friend of mine wonders, and I agree, that if they don't have money for food, where did the get the money to buy stuff to make a poster? Things that make you go HMMMMM? ;)).
Anyway, even though my life hasn't been easy by any means, (really, who's is?) and I have my fair share of trials plus some, especially lately...we have always had food in our cupboard. Not always a lot, not always what we would want to have, but it was there. Our kids have always had something to eat, again, maybe not what they want, but it was there.
As soon as I saw this gentleman I knew that I should do something to help him. I kept pushing the promptings aside and went on my way, knowing that even though I SHOULD do something for him, I really couldn't afford to. Before I had gone half a block past him I knew I had to turn around. I went to KFC and got him a meal, took it to him with the change left over that I had paid for, and went on my way. Could I really AFFORD to do it, financially? Not really. We are hurting monetarily ourselves, in a big bad way. But could I REALLY AFFORD NOT TO? No. We have been so blessed recently (see a few posts below about our AH-SUM car/gift!) that I knew I coldn't afford not to "Pay It Forward." Even though I don't know if that guy was REALLY, genuinely hungry, or if he was pulling a scam (yes, sadly, some do) I still helped someone that I perceived as being in need. For all I know, that chicken and potato meal may be the only thing he gets to eat today. I know that he probably would have preferred to have money...usually, that is what they are hoping for...but at least this way I KNEW that he was getting a meal. My momma didn't raise no fool.....she taught me that if you see someone in need, that you buy them the FOOD instead of letting them buy the food, because 90% of the time they will buy alcohol or cigarettes instead of food. I did give the change as well, but it was just shy of $4, so he really couldn't do much with that.
I don't share this to toot my own horn at all. There are so many more people that are much more giving than I am. (See below about our AH-SUM car/gift! Yes, I am still excited!) I share this more to share a lesson that I learned today. In this harsh economic climate that we are still in....we all need to help. To share. To give. Even though we may or may not be able to contribute financially, there are still things we can do. We can offer a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen. We can babysit a friends children so that she and her sweetheart can go on a much needed date. We can be a friend. And, if we can give a little bit more...then that's good too. Yes, I am sure that gentleman was grateful for a warm meal. I could not, in good conscience, go by him without helping. That would be, to me, ungrateful in a way, for all I have received.