He seemed to be in a hurry, the total stranger. He had styled hair and a nice camel-colored houndstooth coat. He looked like he had had a morning like I had had. He wasn’t smiling.
I saw his metrocard reader flash the most unholy of all error messages when he swiped it: INSUFFICIENT FARE. He was going to run very late.
I had a transfer on my card, because I caught the bus this morning. I had enough on my card to get the both of us on the train. So I did. He was turning, a bit wild-eyed, looking for the metrocard vendor, trying to get out of the way. “Sir! Sir!” I called. He turned to look at me. “It’s ok. I’ve got you. Go ahead.”
And I swiped him through. Because I had the extra ride, and I could spare it. I gave a homeless man my last $2 last night because I could spare that, too. I have the blessed good fortune that leaves me with the security of knowing that if I go to the ATM, there’s more money there for me. I choose to live with the belief that if I were running late and my metrocard expired and a stranger was in a position to help, she would. I believe that because I live that way as often as possible.
If you can spare it, say thank you for the blessing and pay it forward.
The stranger looked at me with such genuine surprise and gratitude… His day got better. It’s 9:30 AM and I’ve given that to someone already. Maybe I’m not off to such a bad start, after all.
Seeing the homeless on the streets, suffering through the colder nights and malnutrition… It breaks my heart. I can’t save everyone, but I can try to help.
James and I–me, especially– need to weed out the excess clothing we have laying around our closets and drawers. Cluttering up our floor and hampers and desk chairs and couch.
And then, I’m taking it all straight to the local charities. There are people out there who can benefit from my years of hoarding clothing. There are people out there who can find far more necessity in the garments I take for granted.
And, if we’re being really honest here, most of what I own are all things I can spare.
So it’s time to be thankful for my blessings, then take a look at where others can benefit and pay it forward.