A Man in Need, A Bully & Me
In the season of giving, things went wrong in my quick exchange with someone asking for help. I was leaving Target, and walking with two strangers. Another man sitting with his belongings on a bench asked “do you have anything to spare?” I smiled and nodded my head no. One of the men said under his breath, but loud enough to hear, “GET A JOB”. I said to this very large man, “Stop it, you don’t know his circumstances.” The man argumentatively continued that the man asking for anything to spare could work at McDonald’s. I added, “he may not have skills or may have medical circumstances whereas he can’t work, you are being unkind.” The man insisted that McDonald’s was the option. I stood up to a bully.
Offered Kindness & a Granola Bar & Received Rejection
I got into my car, drove around the parking lot back to the man, and got out of the car. I said to the man, “I am sorry that man was so mean and unkind. And, I have a granola bar for you. You might want it later.” The man was initially friendly and now had a freighting look on his face. “I do not want your granola bar.” I responded, “You might want it later. Please.” He said, “Go away with your granola bar. I don’t want it, because of my teeth.” I was surprised, and complimented his teeth and suggested that the granola bar can be crushed. The man told me firmly “GO AWAY.” No smile. No thank you. Just, GO AWAY.
I went away crushed. I stood up to a man physically bigger than me. Then I was rejected by someone I was trying to help.
I got in back in the car, sad. Later, I gave my kid the granola bar which he accepted with gratitude.
Wishing for Random Acts of Kindness
On this 8th Night of Chanukah, my holiday wish is that as many people as possible give the gift of small acts of kindness. Like a menorah, we can all be the light. If we each do something kind in the Universe, it will be better for all of us, no matter what our circumstance. My next small act of kindness was to let a car in front of me and not use bad words when he didn’t wave thank you, I started very small.
We need as many people as possible doing small random acts of kindness. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s the spirit of the holiday season. And, you won’t need a gift receipt.