The other day we went to the bottle depot to take in some cans and bottles to recycle. There was a lady that looked homeless off to the side in the corner across from the recycling place.
She looked to be sorting a few bottles, looked like she had all of her belongings in a basket but it hard to tell.
Not too long ago I wrote about how I was rejected and even insulted a homeless person when I asked them if he need help.
I didn’t want that to deter me from offering to help others. But still, doubt flooded my mind. Is this lady homeless, does she want help? Who am I to assume she does, and will some change, or a dollar or two be insulting or would she appreciate it.
I pushed all those thoughts aside and thought to myself, she’ll either accept it or not, thank me or pass. Possibly be insulted or show gratitude. But none of those are mine to determine. They aren’t my emotions or reactions to judge.
For me in this moment, all there is to do is offer and let go of the rest. I decided if she didn’t want anything she’d tell me and I’d go on with my day all the same. And if she did accept, then I’d brighten one person’s day, which is a great goal to have.
I slowly pulled up hoping I wouldn’t startle her, as her head was down sorting her things, looking to see what she could find in bottles, to collect some changed from the bottle depot.
I roll down my window, as I pulled and and smiled grateful I caught her attention. I reached out my window and offered a dollar bill. The smile across her face was one I won’t soon forget.
How many people ignored her, how many passed her by. How many turned their nose up in judgement and how many didn’t see her at all.
She slowly approached the vehicle with that giant bright smile that light up her face. She said thank you, thank you, thank you so much. She then crumpled up that dollar bill and stuffed it in her pocked deep down in a way that said, no one is getting this dollar from me!
We drove away with a smile on our faces, almost as bright as hers. See when you give, you don’t just make someone else smile, it makes you smile too.
Was a dollar enough, I don’t know, but it’s what I had. I do know, pushing aside judgement, and reaction and focusing on what I could do in that instant made all the difference in my day and in hers too.