Stories of Kindness from Around the World

An Encounter with a Guy Named William

--by xenahugs, posted Jul 25, 2016
The other day, I was getting ready to go volunteer teach my English class and I was pondering the current climate in my country, the United States. And I think I'm not the only one overwhelmed by all the disconnection and Fear and by how to try to bridge that with Connection and Love.

And, time ran out and I had to go to class, where it was my night to get evaluated by the program director. It's such an honor to teach this class. It really is. My adult students are so dedicated and wonderful. They really motivate me to be as good as a teacher as I can be, to keep pushing myself to improve. So, after class, the director and I were talking about my teaching and she said she was so effusive in thanking me for my energy. Then! one of my new students overheard some of the discussion and she pointed to me and said to the director, "Buena maestro." My heart surged. as I replied, "Buenos estudiantes."I was so, so touched by that.

Then, my director spoke about how sad everything is right now in the US, how we're all so afraid of each other. After we were done, as I was walking to my car, a man approached me. The neighborhood is a very diverse neighborhood. I am white and he was African American. He asked me for some money. He said he was so hungry, he just wanted something to eat. ``I had no money, no cash. But, we were right in front of a store, so I asked if I could buy him something to eat. He excitedly said yes.

We went inside. He tentatively picked up a bottle of Coke and asked if he could get that. I said, certainly, I said, please, please, get whatever you like. He picked out a box of cookies and said that was all he wanted. I wanted him to take more. I asked him if he wanted fruit, some bread, a sandwich, anything. He said nope. He was happy with the Coke and cookies. We went up to the line and we had to wait a bit. I stuck out my hand and introduced myself. He told me his name was William and that he was homeless. We talked for a while and I apologized for the wait, and we both chuckled about that. When we got to the cashier, they only took cash, which I didn't have. So, I asked where the closest money machine was. We left the food at the counter and went to the machine. 

Of course, that was having problems and that seemed to take forever too, but William was so patient. I felt bad about making him wait and go through all this for a Coke and cookies. As we were waiting there, he said to me, he said you are so nice. You are so nice. I've been doing this a long time and most people aren't like you. You're different. You're like a.. a... breath of fresh air!!I was so touched, so touched. And, I told him so.

I grapple a bit about whether I matter or not in this large complex of Life and his heartfelt words were so soothing to me. It was such a wonderful gift. When we walked back to the store, I gave him the money, with the hopes he could get his soda and cookie with dignity, plus have a little extra for something later. I asked if he had a place to go and he said he did, he was staying on friends' couches.

I didn't know what else to do, so we said goodbye. In doing so, he stretched out his arms and we had a big hug. My heart broke as he embraced me because he said, "I'm sorry I smell" and I could feel, I know shame well. I looked at him, straight in the eyes and said, "Don't worry, William. Don't worry." Then, we parted as he walked into the brightly lit store and I continued my way into the darkened night.
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Readers Comments

cf wrote: Wow. Beautiful. Courageous.
MADRINE wrote: A true act of kindness indeed. God bless you.
Annabella wrote: You were his Angel! I'm going to pray for William. Thank you honey for sharing this. <3
virgtom08 wrote: We never know how a small act of kindness will affect someone. Yours touched the man and now all of us reading about it. Well done.
NAYIGA RESTY wrote: May god bless the work from your hands. !
neha wrote: What a lovely thing really! ♥
Catherine Peyreaud wrote: Thank you. It is so inspiring and drive us back to what is essential in our daily life. Being open heart, be present to what is just close to us, small acts can also make such a difference in someone's day
Mish wrote: Beautiful kindness shared...beautiful you! Love you, Xena 💖
splain wrote: Everything about your post is just beautiful.
leoladyc728 wrote: such a wonderful story. thank you for being so compassionate towards William

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