Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Firefighter's Point of View

--by Moran, posted Apr 22, 2007

Back in the day when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, I was studying to become a firefighter. I was a volunteer fire aide with the city of Milpitas, and was studying at mission college. As a firefighter, you're constantly thinking of other people and trying to help children. That's the mindset, at least for someone trying to get into a fraternity of brothers that is the No. 1 most difficult job in the country to get!

One night after going to class I was heading home and decided to stop off at a burrito place. This was in a part of San Jose that wasn't very good. It was dark, and it was obvious that I wasn't in a place that I would normally go to. Well I got my burrito and started to head for my car when I was approached by a homeless man. He was very dirty and obviously very hungry. He asked me for some change to buy a little food.As I was pulling some change out, I had an idea.

I decided to see if he wanted to eat a real dinner, so I asked him to follow me back into the burrito joint to order. He was ashamed of the way he looked and said he did not want to go in there. But I insisted. When he finally followed me in, the people behind the counter refused to let him in, but I told them that I was buying him dinner and he had a right to be there. After some haggling, they finally let him in where he sat down. It seemed like he was relieved a bit to be sitting at a table. Well, I asked him to order whatever he wanted. He only ordered a burrito, so I had to encourage him to order whatever and however much he wanted.

For someone who has been on the fringes of society it seemed like he was very suprised at my generosity. But to me, it was what any "human being" should do or at least offer. I know we see these people everyday asking for money and I admit it gets a little tiring after awhile, especially knowing there's a bunch of fraudsters out there just hustling money for alcohol or drugs. You had to be there to see the look in his face. To me it reminded me when I was young and my mom brought out a big birthday cake for me on my birthday, with all the candy, chocolate and goodies that we were about to eat. He was like that kid again, getting to experience a feast. And I think he felt special, like he was getting attention. Again something that I could see he hadn't experienced in a long time.

Well he ended up ordering enough to fill his stomach at least 3 times over! I often think about this story, because to me it's not just about helping someone out by feeding them, but giving him the respect and dignity of being a human being and allowing him to feel good about himself was very rewarding.

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Readers Comments

Rajni wrote: You did a wonderful job of feeding needy person with respect. We all have indwelling spark of god. Disrespecting the needy amounts to disrespecting god.

You lit a fire in hearts of many like me to respect everyone, needy or not. Without the water hose or anything else; you doused the fire of hunger in that needy person. You are a firefighter hero.
beetoote wrote: Reading stories like this makes me appreciate humanity as a whole.
bookworm58 wrote: I have done this several times for people who are down on their luck. Like you said you can usually tell someone has a good heart but bad stuff does happen and they are in a sitution they would never be in otherwise. We have to help these people instead of pushing them aside like unwanted people who dont deserve any respect or help. They need someone to care about them before they can care about theirselves. One act of kindness to them can make their day a true blessing. Thanks for sharing.
alexis wrote: This was very moveing
genesis4kt wrote: I would have done the same and have done the same even when i could not afford it. May god bless you for making a difference.
ieiblue wrote: hey moran.. more than the food you offered...caring for him and standing with him to go inside that restaurant is really amazing...a lesson thought which should be put on to practice.. big hug for you!!! :P
Mohammed wrote: Awesome idea! I'm going to do that the next time some needy person approaches me.
God bless you.
purplecola wrote: how wonderful that you did not do as so many do and pass that man by. perhaps he wasn't dressed in fine clothes, perhaps he didn't smell good... but you didn't pass him by. i'm sure that not only did you fill his tummy but his heart as well. Bless you.
jan wrote: What a beautiful story. We often times look down on the homeless and street people never knowiing what got them there in the first place.We take all that we have for granted. What a kind thing you did to offer this person, and meal and to give him self- respect.You felt good and he felt good.
Donna wrote: What an awesome gesture of love and generosity the world needs more people like you !!

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