Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Sometimes, it's all you need.

--by amneaves, posted Aug 13, 2014
Yesterday, after a beautiful therapy session, I rode through town specifically hoping to learn something from someone. When a young man flagged me down, I quickly pulled over and sat down next to him.

He began to tell me about the symbols he had drawn on the concrete, and spoke of things I had never heard of. I was reminded, as I had hoped, that I have no IDEA what it is all really about, and that a 'strange' man's guess is as good as mine. He thanked me for listening, and asked for money. I immediately said yes.

When I could not get money from a debit machine, or figure out my pin for cash back, he outright asked "Will you buy me some beer?" My immediate reaction was -- "Beer?" as if it were a ridiculous request.

I include this story here because I am sure many of us have gifted money to those in need and have been told by someone that "they'll just spend it on booze." So I chose to challenge my initial judgement of his question, and I said, "Alright man, if a beer is what you want, then I will get it for you."

He explained how having a beer when you're living on the street makes you feel fed, happy, and warm. I decided that it is not my job to judge how this man makes his choices.

I had felt inspired to give to him, and the best I could do was give to him freely in a way that met his current needs. He was very grateful, and I felt expanded and humbled.
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Readers Comments

sandyremillard wrote: I would follow what my heart tells me is right. If that's what your heart told you, that was right.
Gjaia wrote: Dobby is right, technically. You aren't helping the man if you think long-term. But people living on the streets don't think long term, as there probably even isn't a long term. And alcohol makes the time pass faster, makes the live more bearable. This man will say you helped him, even though the topic is controversial. Good of you for challenging your own worldview!
tsukid wrote: Thank you .... there is much wisdom in what you wrote. A wise woman once taught a group of us "do not judge - we never know how, why, when or to whom enlightenment will come." I think that was her way of telling us the Buddha is in all of us.
brindlegirl wrote: Absolutely!! You are a rare gem. Thank you for showing us all today a lesson in unconditional kindness xxx
Dobby wrote: I have to disagree. Beer doesn't actually feed him so his body will continue to deteriorate, alcohol also dehydrated you as well so that will also damage him, and the warmth is a false warmth and if he's living on the street can lead to hypothermia and possible death. Perhaps next time treat to a meal or pay for a couple days in a motel so he can shower and sleep in a warm bed.

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