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, February 27, 2013

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

     I was coming home from a business trip to Florida today and as I was walking from the gate where my plane had arrived to the baggage claim area, a man stopped me to ask for help.  He told me that the train was going to cost him $7, but that he only had $4.  "Could I possibly give him the necessary extra $3," he wanted to know.  Without hesitation, I reached into my wallet and gave him the money he had requested.  He was so appreciative and couldn't stop saying "God bless you" as I left.
     I've written a number of times about situations like these and the dilemma they can present.  On the one hand, there are plenty of con artists out there and this could simply be a scam.  On the other hand, he sure looked like he could use a hand; and it's unusual for someone to have at least part of the money they need and to be so specific in their request.  I've also come to think that even if some of these people I help aren't entirely truthful about their situation, if they're so bad off that they have to beg strangers for help, then the  least I can do is assist them anyway.
     It's also an interesting observation that nearly every time I do one of these types of acts of kindness, the recipient offers a somewhat religious affirmation -"God bless you", for example.  I'm not really sure just what that's about.  I don't know if they're really "believers" in a particular religion, or if it's just a generic way of expressing appreciation.  Either way, it's interesting how frequently I've experienced that.
     I also took time to pick up any trash I noticed on the ground as I was walking through the terminal.  It wasn't a big deal, but I saw it, and there were lots of trash cans around, so why not pick it up? 
     And, as usual, I made a point to use the name of any worker I encountered who was wearing some kind of name tag.  A simple thing that makes the world feel more personal.

1 comment:

  1. Hello David, I just came across your kindness blog this evening. What a great inspirational kind guy you are, just what the world needs in this planet of global war, violence and media madness. Your generosity in giving the airport guy was really great. It reminds me of when I worked in downtown Los Angeles. There were homeless people and especially Vietnman veterans all over Wilshire blvd. At lunch time, I used to go and give them bag lunches and fruit drinks. Anyway, it's great to see your blog. I sure need some random acts of kindness lately, albeit from Internet strangers even. Sometimes our family shows a cold, unresponsive shoulder to our hands of kindness. It is hurtful. So I am extending my kindness to the universe. I invite you to see my blog I started at:
    about my spiritual journey to the healing of heart, soul and spirit. I subscribed to your blog. Look forward to your daily kindness blogs.
    Kindest regards,
    Tucson, Arizona