This happened last year when the lockdown was first imposed. Everybody stayed at home, and many lost their jobs. But one day I had to drive to the electricity department because of a lost bill, and this was when it happened. It’s something that even now makes me feel terrible and it was the sight of a boy standing on the road with a placard in his hand.
He was wearing shorts, and seemed to be from an educated family from the looks of him, and which is why I gave the placard a second glance.
The placard read, “My Mother Needs Dialysis. I Need Money For It!” I was on the way for an emergency meeting.
Did not stop the car and drove on.
Homeless and unemployed people are a common sight in many of our larger cities, and we motorists drive by without offering assistance. We have been taught that giving money fosters a dependent lifestyle, or the ready cash may be used to purchase drugs or alcohol or another substance rather than the food it was intended for.
This, of course, is true, but I am reminded of a college friend of mine who encountered a homeless man on the sidewalk. He took some money from his wallet and handed it to the unfortunate stranger. His friend commented, “Why did you do that? He’s just going to spend it on booze!”
My friend replied, “Yeah…like we’re not!”
As my car sped away from that man with the placard, I felt conflicted about him. Should I have gone back. Yes, I was in a hurry. Was he wearing a mask? I could pick up the virus? Could it be a sham?
What should I do? Turn back? What was best?
As I wrestled with these questions, I saw in my rearview mirror a man get down from his car, go to the youngster with the sign and talk to him, and walk away with him, obviously with a motive to help and maybe help big.
As I debated, somebody else helped. As I hesitated, somebody else acted. As I tried to decide the best way to assist, somebody else just did what I could have done.
I drove away realizing that what was important was to do something. Whether it is big or small, just do something. Something is almost always better than nothing!
Educator Leo Buscaglia says” Don’t underestimate what you can do! Each of us can do something, and the something you do may be more important than you’ll ever know. Just touch someone today! Stop, just stop..!
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