There's always a man or a woman at the corner when I drive up. Doesn't matter the time of year; they're out there rain or snow or hot, humid day. I think they take shifts. I drove by one day at "shift change", I heard one say to another, "The pickin's aren't so good today."
Sometimes I drive an extra five minutes around, just so I don't have to pass them.
Their signs say different things. "Homeless, anything helps." "No job, no money. Please help." I can't look them in the eye as I drive by. I tell myself that I want to help the world, but I can't even stop to help these sad, desperate people. It's not like I drive a fancy car and give the impression of money. I'm pretty sure that my yellow, rusty, missing one mirror, 2001 Ford doesn't put me in the "has it all" category. But it still gets me from Point A to Point B, warms in the winter, cools in the summer and carries the things I need.
It's more than they have. Even if it needs new brakes and wants to kill when it idles.
I wasn't paying attention today when I left the store. I turned right instead of left and got caught at the red light. I so desperately wanted to give the elderly gentleman something. I don't carry cash. The only thing I had to give was a banana. "But they're green." I thought to myself. Would he take it? Would it be insulting? A banana, who gives a homeless man a banana?
I drove by him. I couldn't look him in the eye. I had more than he, yet I still had nothing I could give.
I want to teach my daughter the importance of giving. To share what little she has with those who have nothing. What kind of lesson am I giving her when I pass the corner and leave those people empty handed? How does one teach compassion, empathy, giving to a child? I try to teach by example, but if it's hard for me to give, what am I teaching?