The other day I was at a stop light. I happened to be about 3 cars back from the light and I saw someone at the corner who had a sign “Will work for food.” He was Black. His color only matters because of what comes next.
I noticed that one person got out of his car to give money and the other rolled down his window. I can see both are men and both are black. There are other cars there too – nice cars. These two guys didn’t have those kind of nice cars (relative, of course). I rolled down my window and held out some money. The man came to my car, took the money and said “G-d bless you.” Frankly, I can use all the g-d blessings I can get right now.
I wondered why the two black guys gave money but the two BMW’s and the Lexis didn’t. Look, I know this is sometimes a racket. And, I know sometimes we’re paying for an addiction. And this is not about the cost of our cars or the color of our skin. This is just me making an observation with no agenda or judgment.
The light turned and we all pulled forward. The car with one of the guys in it pulled over a block later at a gas station. So I pulled over too. I got out of my car just as the guy was going into the building to buy his gas. I followed him in. In the register line I saw him counting bills for his gas. Looked like $7 and some change.
I said (to the guy with his baggy pants to his knees and tattoos on his arms), “Hey, I noticed you gave that guy at the corner some money. That was nice of you.” He turned around and for a split second I wondered if I really should have opened my mouth.
He stared at me for a second and then smiled. “Yea, I can’t stand seeing my brothers on the street. That used to be me. Homeless. No money and when I had some, I was just buying something bad. Maybe it’ll make some difference for him. Maybe not. But I’m doin’ something.”
“That’s really cool,” I said. “You made my day.” He nodded and walked out. I gave the guy at the register my card and bought my new friend $30 in gas. As I walked out and got in my car I heard the loud-speaker tell him “that woman” just gave him $30 in gas.
He was right, it did feel good to do something. Life’s full of surprises, don’t you think?
Have an amazing Wednesday.