On my way to work yesterday morning, detouring to a supermarket for supplies, I passed a charity shop. In the doorway were several bags which at first glance seemed to be a donation left out of hours, even though a sign asks people not to do this.
As I glanced down at them I realised one of the bags was a sleeping bag with someone inside. I paused, took a couple of steps whilst checking my pocket for change. Not much there. Another pause then I opened my wallet and took out £5. I had found £20 a few days before and this was the remains of my good fortune.
Laying my hand on the mans shoulder I gently roused him and asked if he was OK before proffering the fiver.
His first words were ‘Are you sure?’ followed by ‘Yeah, I’m OK. Thanks’.
He told me he’d be moving on in a few minutes. I think in his sleepy state he thought I worked at the shop and wanted him to clear the doorway. After wishing him well I continued my journey.
For a few minutes I felt good. I had given some money to someone in need. I had passed on some of my lucky find to another person. Then I felt sad for his situation and then angry that this is still happening in our society.
Looking back I wonder how many others took the time to stop and check on a fellow human being or at least to pass on a little kindness.
And how many times have I passed by with barely a glance?
Stopping to talk and passing on some good fortune is a simple way to make someone else’s life a little easier, even just for a little while.
This morning I called in at a corner shop. A man and his young son were ahead of me at the counter.
On getting his change the man queried it. Not because he thought it wasn’t enough but because he thought it was too much. He insisted on his transaction being double checked to ensure everything had been paid for and, even when it had been confirmed as right, he still insisted that if they were £4 short at the end of the day he’d owe it to them.
It was nice to see some honesty towards a small, local business.
We’re all in this life together and if we can all be a little nicer to each other and show some kindness to one another it can be much better for all of us.
And it costs nothing.