Thursday, January 05, 2006

Random Acts of Kindness...

When was the last time you did one?
Have you ever done one?
How'd it make you feel?

I'll start...

Yesterday while on my way to the fish store to replace the fish that I successfully killed during the moving process; I noticed that the homeless teen that stands at the lights on Wellington and Commissioners was there.
His sign simply says... "Homeless and hungry please help."
Now I have seen him there dozens of times before and have given him the odd granola bar or two... I often wish I could do more. Well today I did! It was miserable out, raining and plus 4 and he looked drenched to the bone and freezing cold, so I went to DQ and got him a double cheeseburger with fries and a coke. He seemed so surprised and thankful when I handed it to him from my warm Jeep. He wished me a good day thanked me very much and hurried over to the bus shelter to eat. While I sat at the lights he devoured every morsel and then disappeared. Again I wish I could have given him more but it's a start. I wonder how long it has been since he had a hot meal or a shower for that matter? What about clean clothes and a warm bed to sleep in?
After the year I have had( the most amazing one of my life so far) my heart aches when I see people suffering. I wonder where his mother is? I wonder if she is worried about him? I wonder what his name is?

I vow to be more generous this year, hopefully I can spread some of my good fortune around and brighten a few people's days this year.


Valerie said...

What a wonderful thing to do,I am sure he was very greatful. I have not done a random act of kindness yet this year but I promise to try to do one today!

Zephra said...

The one random act of kindness that I am guilty of that sticks in my mind the most is this: I have a neighbor down the street. She Had 5 kids and after years of abuse, left her jerk of a husband the whole neighborhood calls butthead. Having 5 kids, I knew she was hard up for money. We had a little extra that month so when she toil me how behind she was on bills. I made her get her bills and I got my checkbook. It felt GREAT!!! My husband never found out. He would most likely be mad. I have since slipped money and gift cards in her mail box but refuse to admit to her that it was me. I love being able to do things like that for people.

RebSteb said...

Well done, Leanne.

The answer to your question for me sadly is that I don't think about it. Not as often as I should.

I think this is the most positive thing about "life" that I have read in a while.

Kristine said...

This year I have not done a random act of kindness, but when I do they are usually very random. I do remember one very cold christmas season I was walking to the bus, so you know this is old, and I had a coffee, and a bag of doritos. There was an elderly man sitting in front of Nash Jewlers, very cold, and holding a sign for money for food. I didn't have any, as I just bought my crap. But I asked if he would like it, he looked very surprised and accepted. I felt odd at first, but then had the same thoughts you did. when was the last time he ate. I then was a recipent that same year during a blizzard, a cab driver stopped while I was standing at the bus stop and offered to give me a ride home. I had no money, but he still took me all the way to my apartment. I called and thanked the company.

Juggling Mother said...

I haven't done any this year yet - but to be honest I haven't been out very much:-(

The acts of kindness that stick most in my mind were from when I was young & hitch-hiked across the UK & Europe. I met loads of fantastic people, many showed me special places, lots fed me, some took me home & let me get clean & warm. One sneaked money into my bag (I always refused money if offered).

Now I'm older, & more rushed & drive alot for a living, I try to repay those acts wherever possible. I always pick up hitchers, and have brought a few home for the night.

Whenever I despair of humanity, a quick hitch-hike will re-affirm how wonderful the majority of people are:-)

I will buy/give food to people on the street, but not give money. It's amazing how often food is refused.

Carmi said...

Lovely sentiment.

Not all of the streetcorner folks are truly in need, though. The local paper reported on two examples a few months ago - at Masonville and downtown - and it turns out both had homes to go to and decent backgrounds.

They simply figured standing on a streetcorner with a sign was a more lucrative way to raise funds than working a regular job.

And they were right: the tax-free economics are actually frightening...and make me wonder why I don't pick up my own sign.

They continue to stand on their corners to this day.

I'm not being universally cynical: you're absolutely right that we haves must continue to do more for the have-nots around us. I'm simply angry that there are those among us who would abuse our sense of altruism.