Making the "Big Issue" Magazine Seller's Day
--by wayfarer, posted May 19, 2008
In Britain we have a magazine called The Big Issue which homeless people sell. Half the money raised goes towards their next batch of magazines and the other half is theirs to keep.
One day I was out walking with Julie, my wife, on a bitter cold day when I came across a Big Issue seller. Poor guy looked frozen. I bought a magazine without looking at it and gave him a little extra money. Further down the road I realised that I had bought the same issue a few days earlier in Glasgow.
When he saw me turn back and walk towards him the poor guy looked a little worried (I'm a big fellow). I think he thought I was going to complain about something. Instead I gave him the magazine back and said, "I've read this one. Why don't you sell it again to someone else?" The way I saw it he would double his profit. I didn't want my money back and he could sell the same magazine again.
I'd heard of other folks doing similar things and didn't think it was such a big deal. But, by the expression on the guy's face, I think this must have been the first time it had ever happened to him. He was surprised and delighted! So for the price of some pocket change he experienced some kindness, got to make a little extra money and I got to feel like I'd just made his day!!!