Today we pulled up to a stop light. A young man, dressed in tattered jeans and a black leather jacket, shaved head, and multiple piercings, paced the boulevard with a little sign which said, Merry Christmas, and something about needing money…
Dave was in the driver’s seat, I rolled down his window and called the boy over, “Merry Christmas, I don’t have much, but here you go.”
I apologized profusely for not having more, I usually do. My secret stash of cash seems to have been found by the little hands in my family.
His words are still ringing in my ears… he kindly replied, “It’s OK… but Thank You for ACKNOWLEDGING me.”
I AM HERE!
DO YOU SEE ME?!
How many times do we fail to SEE others? Acknowledge their existence? Or do we look the other way, pretending to grab something, like our phones, and keep busy so we don’t have to make eye contact?
In the past, I have rationalized why not to open my window with thoughts like; maybe he should just move home, get a job, or he’ll use the money for drugs or alcohol.
The truth of the matter is… he appreciated being seen more than the amount I could muster in the 10 seconds it took to empty my pockets.
During this time of year, we are more apt to be mindful and gracious to others than at any other time. It’s amazing what a simple smile, head nod, or even a whispered hello will do for someone else.
It’s not just for those on the streets or in the shadows of society. Take the time to notice those in your neighbourhood, your church, your workplace, the grocery store, or the pick-up lane at school. I’d like to challenge you to bring some of this Holiday Cheer forward into 2015! No one deserves to feel invisible.
Kindness wins every time!