I had an interesting experience today. I was at the second of my two jobs which is waitress in a small family restaurant. We had a mere 15 minutes until closing, it had been a VERY slow evening and I was feeling slightly sorry for myself at not making much in the way of tips. I heard the door open and in wanders a homeless man, hard to tell his age as he just looked worn, if you know what I mean. If I had to guess I would say in his 40's, but he could have been as young as 30. Anyway he asks how much coffee is and I said we had none, but I could brew a pot & it was $1.75. He then asked for a cup of water and I gave it to him in a to go cup as I wasn't sure if he was staying. He proceeded to sit at a booth and eat some sugar off of a spoon while drinking some water. I didn't talk to him much, but let him sit as it was cold outside. After about 15 minutes he left, thanking me for letting him come in. I had put a couple of rolls and some butter in a to go box, but then my boss came & I wasn't sure how he would feel about it, so I ended up not giving it to the man and just taking it home.
Then as I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from this experience I encountered another homeless person, this time a young pregnant woman sitting by the carts outside of the local Ralph's. She asked if I had a spare dollar or two & I told her I would see what I had after buying my groceries. I knew I would be giving her money, but I only had twenty dollar bills and as much as I would like to help that is more than I could afford. So, after purchasing my couple of items I went out and gave her a few dollars and offered her the rolls, which she said would be nice.
Now, I know her sitting there could be a scam, I gave her $4 and saw another guy also giving her a few, but I have to trust my gut and feel like I was helping someone who needed it. It made me be ever so thankful for the money I did make this evening. It might not have been as much as I wanted, but it was enough for what I needed to get on my way home. (milk & oj)
We sometimes need to be reminded to stop and appreciate what is in our lives. I know that while my life has been hard this past year from being laid off, which brought major changes & upsets within my life, I had the support of my family and friends. I didn't lose my adorable rental house, or my car. I had a roof over my head, food in my fridge and the basic necessities to live. I have cut back on extras, I rarely go out to eat. I do not have cable or go to the movies often ( thank heavens for netflix!)
I learned to live on even tighter of a budget than ever before and through it I feel like I became a better person. I hope that the next time you see a homeless person on the street you take a moment to be thankful for all you do have and if possible find a way to give back.