That was the question a charity volunteer asked me and my sister this week while we were hurriedly walking back from the mall to our car. I said okay, though I could tell by the look on her face after I gave my consent my sister wished I hadn’t. Being on the East Coast much of the time, she’s learned how to (kindly) brush people off and say “No, thank you,” a lot. Anyway, I agreed to hear this girl’s spiel because I recognized the organization and I know how intimidating it can be to stop strangers on the street and ask for donations. Once she finished telling us about her cause, I gave her a small donation, she in return, thanked us for our time and me for the donation; then we were on our way. The entire exchanged took less than five minutes.
My point is this: It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to help someone in need.
This week our pastor asked us to do something nice for someone. It was an odd request because he usually doesn’t ask for us to do things that often. Simple enough, I thought; this shouldn’t be too hard. I do nice things all the time, at least I try. So my personal goal was to give outside of my comfort zone. I originally wanted to give away one of the McDonald’s gift cards I’ve been carrying around for a while now to one of those people you see on the side of the road who’s always holding a sign; but they’ve been shuffled around inside my car. I will find them though!
A few days later, my sister and I were sitting on the exit ramp waiting for the light to change when she noticed the man on the side. He had a sign that read “4 Children, Desperate; $1.00 for Water” taped to the side of a water cooler. She took out a dollar, handed it over to me, and I flagged down the man. My sister didn’t really need the water, she just felt like helping him out. When he came over, she initially denied the water but I told her she should take it anyway. The man thanked us and we drove away. It wasn’t until after we’d driven away that my sister realized taking the water was an issue of pride. If she just gave him the money, then he would just have seen her dollar as charity rather than as an exchange for service. She helped him be a provider for his family, rather than have him feel like he was a charity case. As drawn out as I’m making this seem, the whole exchanged lasted thirty seconds. It didn’t cost her an arm and a leg to do something kind for someone.
Even if I wasn’t religious, I would still do my best be kind and help others. I am a firm believer in karma; you get back what you put out. We should help one another out from time to time, when our hearts are in the right place. You shouldn’t help solely because it’s the right thing to do, because that won’t help you advance any. If you give with good intention, goodness will find you as well. Sometimes giving gives you a rush, seeing expressions of gratitude brighten people’s faces can make you want to keep going and set off some sort of chain reaction. It’s one of the best adrenaline fueled feelings ever, your soul smiles!
I came across a blog earlier this week that had such good intention, and I encourage you to check her out. She has been a true inspiration for me this week. I even added her to my Blogs O’Plenty on the side, so you all can have quick access to her page.
It’s okay to spread a little kindness to your neighbor from time to time. It won’t kill you; just make you stronger.
It only takes a moment of your time. 🙂
Peace and love!