Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Hands We Are Dealt

--by fourplusanangel, posted Feb 28, 2012

There is a homeless man who always seems to be perched on his bike somewhere along the main road running through our town. We see him every time we leave the house. He is either bundled up, hunched over his bags and blankets in the winter, or riding up and down the street in the summer when I suspect trying to catch a little breeze in the heat.

Whenever I see him I want to bring him a coffee, or a water, or a blanket, or a fan - but I never do.
His name is Bruce. I only know this because my brother-in-law saw him one freezing day on his way to our house. He asked his name and why he was sleeping in the field. Then he gave Bruce the coat off his back and the hat from his head!
Today I had a notion to venture to the mall with the little ones.  As we headed inside we saw the ever-present bell-ringers of the holiday season, collecting money for the Salvation Army.
I echoed Merry Christmas to the freezing volunteer but, with full hands, did not put a dime in his bucket. I told myself I would catch him on the way out but never did.
While driving home from the mall, frazzled from all the get-back-heres, don't-touch-thats and we-are-leaving-NOWs of our trip, I found myself stuck in the slowing traffic of our two lane road home. I was getting aggravated because it was nap-time for the little ones. They needed it and I needed it.
Then someone decided to cut in front of me. I muttered under my breath that cutting me off wasn't going to get him anywhere - and where exactly did he think he was going anyway? 
I realized he was pulling his car off the road.
The man I was cursing under my breath for disrupting my five minute drive home got out and walked over to Bruce (whom I had not even seen in my world of crabbiness.) He handed Bruce some money.
I looked back, through blurry eyes, and was really ticked off. At myself!
Sometimes I think the bitterness I feel for the hand I have been dealt clouds my view of the fact that there are others who have been dealt a hand with a card or two less.  I was reminded today that I need to slow down the carousel, help when I know I should, and give when I know I can.
If you need me I will be rehearsing the art of removing money from my purse with my foot, so I can drop some in that little red bucket next time I pass a bell-ringer when my hands are full.
That is, after I find Bruce and invite him over for dinner!




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Readers Comments

bookworm58 wrote: Its a beautiful story. You have really touched my heart. I will try to do better and think of the people who have life a lot tougher than i am for sure. At times a smile and a kind word goes a long way. But a kind gesture like a cup of coffee or a snack could help someone in dire need too. I carry numbers of the shelters with me now and give them out. Sometimes they arent sure where to get some help.

Appreciate your story more than you will ever know.
Jan wrote: At one time we had a "bruce" in our town, only he sat at walmart on warm days. Never bothering others. I felt inspired to give him a ride home in the sweltering heat, give him a dollar or two (tell him to go get himself something to drink, and he did as he was told). He had been a bad boy in st. Louis and gotten beat up bad, barely survived. Never the same after. Others spoke about his past or i wouldn't have known. What mattered was he was here and needed. He died a few years ago, and i was glad god put him in front of me. He inspired me in more ways than he will know. He also helped me teach my children. God bless all the "bruces" out there!
LUCY wrote: I once heard that, "the secret to living is giving. " mike murdock also stated that, "giving is a proof that you have conquered greed. " while john wesley once advised,"make all you can, save all you can & give all you can. " and i advice that we should make giving a fine art. You little acts of kindness can help you when you least expected.

Just dare to touch the untouched and you'll surely be amazed! One love to all givers who find pleasure in giving!
bilkis wrote: Kindness and generosity helps to lift the spirit, may we all learn to give and share with those less fortunate
kim j wrote: This is a very interesting story and alot of times we do get lost in our own stuff and forget others, but when we pray at the end of the day ask god to put people in your life that you can help and that will help you remember because they will always be there.
walkingraven wrote: Does that hit home? You, me, most everyone. We all so this. Thank you for putting a voice to my selfishness. I have, other don't - why can't i not judge. Why can't i be generous and selfless.

What is it that ties my hands? I shall try to be a better me. Thank you.
Thaata wrote: I have also been there and missed lot of opportunities to serve. This story inspires and remind me not to miss out the next opportunity.
Tribhuwan wrote: Thanks for reminding about the most healing feeling one gets by being kind to the people who most need it. We feel elated and thankful for a long time after doing such acts- many thanks for inspiring us dear fourplusanangels and helpothers. Org
Joy wrote: So glad that you are inspired to to give the gift of kindness. Many blessings to you and bruce.
Karen wrote: Living in florida, i see a lot of homeless men and some women. And sometimes i feel guilty for not giving. I really enjoyed your story. It truly touched my heart. Your writing was profound to me. I could actually feel all that you felt by reading it. We take for granted all that we have and sometimes are not satisfied with the hand we are dealt. But god is in charge and he knows what we need. He places people like bruce in our paths for a reason.


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