Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homeless At the Airport?

     Today was a long day of traveling with multiple flight delays, and I'm writing this past midnight - so I'll keep it short.  When my flight finally arrived at the Philadelphia airport it was approximately 11 pm and the airport was mostly deserted.  As I slowly made my way to baggage claim to await my luggage, I decided I'd look for someone to whom I could give one of the gift cards I usually keep with me.
     Before long, I noticed an elderly woman sitting on a bench who honestly looked like she might be homeless.  I decided she might be a better candidate for a McDonalds card than a Starbucks one.  As I approached her to offer her the card, I wasn't sure if she even spoke English.  It turned out that she did, though she spoke so quietly it was hard for me to understand her.  It took a bit for me to explain to her what it was I was giving her.  She had almost no teeth, and was dressed in rags.  I can't quite figure out what she was doing at the airport. In any case, I was able to help her understand how she could use the gift card.  She told me (I think?) that she was once an employee of McDonalds and she thanked me for the card.
     I'm sure there's a fascinating story behind this woman and how she got to be where she was tonight and in the condition she was.  Unfortunately, I was candidly too tired to spend the time and energy to learn more.  However, I was at least able to help her buy a meal that was likely much needed.

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