I dont want you to like this post on FB, I don’t want you to respond, i dont want you to tweet or retweet – I just want you to think.
Yesterday on my walk to work I saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can, and at first it didn’t really register.
I’ve almost become immune to all the homeless people begging around Chicago. But this man was different, he was minding his own business, not asking for anything. Just looking for food.
My second reaction was reaching in my pocket and pulling out all the money I had on my at the time -only six dollars- because I don’t really carry cash on me. I walked over and said; “Excuse me sir, please take this and get something to eat.”
That was it.
He said thank you twice and I put my head phones back on and walked to work like I do every morning, trying not to have contact with anyone and oblivious to things around me.That’s my way of telling people I don’t want to be bothered, or I don’t have change or don’t have time for your long story about hard times. I ignore the world by listening to my music. I am sure I am not alone, and I’m not saying its a bad thing. We all get into our zones and want to get from point A to B as fast and efficiently as possible. I went on with the daily rat race of life, doing what I do every day at work. But today was different, today I could not stop thinking about the homeless man eating out of the garbage can. Was six dollars enough? How much food can someone buy with 6 dollars? Someone was so hungry, that their hunger forces them to eat out of the garbage? I am sure this was not the first time I have seen a homeless person, or the first time i have seen someone digging through the garbage, but something was different. Maybe it was my view of life changing, or the fact I am getting older, or maybe this day on my walk, i just stopped and looked around. I don’t know?
We all use the terms; “I’m starving” or I’m so hungry I can eat anything “. But today I saw those phrases come to life. I saw a man so hungry he was eating anything, so starving his animal instinct came out and he was just looking for food.
I can’t stop thinking of him and how I could have helped more. He was not begging for money or bothering people for change, not trying to run a scam. He was just hungry…maybe I should have walked him over to the restaurant and got him a hot meal and maybe something for him to take with him for later? Why didn’t I?
I take a lot for granted, I have a great family, a good job, and friends I lean on for help and advice. We all do, and I don’t want to get all preachy or make you think I am patting myself on the back for helping a homeless man, thats not my intent. I just don’t think I helped enough, I could have done so much more.