Just some thoughts:
I wonder how often these words have been said: “Mister, do you have some spare change to give me, so I might get a bite to eat?”
This morning I was standing in line at one of my music/book stores waiting for them to open. I got there early as they were having a big sale, albums for ten cents, cds’ and books for a quarter. Yes, I said ten cents. Hey, I still play cassettes and I even have a few eight tracks, so don’t laugh. I’ve got a great old Porter Wagoner eight track. You would love it. Sorry, got sidetracked. Actually, I wasn’t standing in a line because I was the only one there at that time, so guess you can’t have a line of only one.
While waiting, I saw them. “Them?” Two people sitting on the curb down the street. Soon one of “them” was walking toward me, and I had a pretty good idea of what she was going to ask. She appeared clean, sober and I would judge her to be in her late twenties. Somewhat timidly, she approached and asked, “Mr., I’m out of work. Do you have a bit of change you could spare me?” “What’s your name?” I asked. She seemed a bit taken aback. “Betty,” she said. “Betty, how long have you been out of work, and what kind of work did you do?” I asked. She told me she had been out of work about a month, and she had worked as a cook at a fast food place. “Are you hungry?” I asked. With that, she gave me a nod and a soft yes. Across the parking lot from where we were standing was a Burger King. “I’m going over to that Burger King, and if you want, I’ll buy you breakfast over there.” With a slight smile and a nod, we both started to walk.
We got our food and started eating. I continued to talk and ask questions of her when I noticed something. She was cutting her sandwich in half, and she wrapped some of her tater tots in a napkin. As we were finishing our food I said, “I noticed you saved some of your sandwich and tater tots.” “My friend down the street is hungry too, I’m gonna take her some of my food she wouldn’t come with me.” I told her to finish what she had ordered, and I would pay for food that she could take to her friend. “Thank you, thank you,” she replied. We talked a bit longer. Then came time for us to leave. I wished her well; she again called me Mr., thanked me and shook my hand. As I walked to my record store, I could still see her, and I watched as she approached her friend, who was still there near the curb. I then watched as she handed her friend the sack of food.
“Not everyone who asketh, that deserveth charity, all however are worthy of the enquiry, or the deserving may suffer.
Was Betty honest with me? Was she really out of work? Had she ever worked at a fast food place? Some might say, “Adamson, you’re an easy touch.” Maybe I am. I will tell you three things about Betty: one, she had paid attention and cared about the needs of another; two, she was willing to share what she had received; three, and yes she was hungry.
Now, two of these three are very worthy traits of anyone, whoever they are; “caring and sharing.”
March 17, 2012
Posted September 3, 2018