Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Three Words of Wisdom: "Don't We All?"

--by jaydeebug, posted Jan 1, 2009

One evening I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was, what society would consider, a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don't want to be bothered. This was one of the "don't want to be bothered" times.

"I hope he doesn't ask me for money," I thought.  He didn't.  He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop and he didn't look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.  After a few minutes he spoke.  "That's a very nice car," he said.  He was ragged but had an air of dignity around him.

I said, "Thanks," and continued wiping off my car.

He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened something inside me said, "Ask him if he needs any help."  I was sure that he would say yes, but I held true to the inner voice.

"Do you need any help?" I asked.  He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.  We often look for wisdom in great men and women.  We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.  I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand.  He spoke three words that shook me.

"Don't we all?" he said.

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help.  I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too.  No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.  Even if it's just a compliment, you can give that.

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don't have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see.  -- Cal

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Readers Comments

dhivyashana wrote: Beautiful :)
lesleetessman wrote: Sometimes i think i really have not much to give, but you reminded me it doesn't have to be anything big (to me). It may be 'big' to another person. Thanks
katiger_madchen wrote: It brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful and truthful story.
Stephy wrote: Wow, thank you for sharing. I have often been in similar situations and at times have felt like i didn't want to bother but your story is a reminder that everyone has wisdom and insights to share and deserve to be valued always. Thank you for your honesty as well.
himeshase wrote: Just love this. So humbling , true and heartwarming. Thank you so much for sharing
friedoline1 wrote: What a wonderful story. It really rings true for humanity as a whole. Thank you for sharing
rganeden2u wrote: More than ever we have to reassess what's important and to be compassionate and humane without judgement towards one another. Not the "us against them" mentality perpetuated by sports. That individual who appeared to be a 'bum' served as a teacher with profoundly wise words that resonated down to the core inside the writer of this story. Bravo, that the writer processed the lesson, recognized need in another human being and reacted humanely. Thank you for this story
janetdav wrote: Thanks for sharing such a lovely inspiration :)
Mindfulmoment wrote: How true! Don't we all
Mindfulmoment wrote: So true. Don't we all 😊

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