A few years ago on the steps of the local post office, I was having one of those brutal days…
Too much to do, lines everywhere and perspective a tough sell. The post office was no exception. After about 20-minutes on line, I finally had my turn and, business done, quickly fell into my New York stride.
Moving to the steps, I glanced up to almost knock over a young boy dressed in a blazer and tie. He looked to be about 8-years old an stood nervously offering chocolate bars for sale to support his school.
Old Habits Die Hard…
For years before, I came to see most anyone who asked me for money on the street in the same vain…pests, addicts and thieves. Yes, even the kids. Plants used by parents to solicit money for alcohol. Through a combination of fatherhood, spiritual exploration, the pursuit of a more conscious path and a switch to decaf latte, though, I found my outlook ceding to a more compassionate inner voice.
Less “why are you bothering me” and more “who am I to judge?”
As I looked up at this young man, he smiled insecurely. Feeling like my karma needed a bit of zip and wanting to do something nice, I offered a dollar for a bar and a thank you. I was feeling pretty good about my deed and began to make my way down the short flight of stairs and through the glass doors ahead.
As I approached, I noticed an older gentleman, silver hair and glasses, leaning with some effort on a cane and smiling at me. I thought this odd. People don’t make eye contact on the street in Manhattan, even older people. But, he looked so kind, I couldn’t resist smiling back.
As I began to move toward him, thinking that would be the end of it, his smile widened to a grin. He began to raise his hand ever so gently. I turned to realize he was pointing at the young man inside on the steps.
“That’s my grandson,” he shared with some effort, “thank you.”
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