Below is something I wrote in 2012.
Just some thoughts:
I wonder how often these words have been said: "Mister, do you have some spare change to give me, so I might get a bite to eat?"
This morning I was standing in line at one of my music/book stores waiting for them to open. I got there early as they were having a big sale, albums for ten cents, cds’ and books for a quarter. Yes, I said ten cents. Hey, I still play cassettes and I even have a few eight tracks, so don't laugh. I’ve got a great old Porter Wagoner eight track. You would love it. Sorry, got sidetracked. Actually, I wasn't standing in a line because I was the only one there at that time, so guess you can't have a line of only one.
While waiting, I saw them. "Them?" Two people sitting on the curb down the street. Soon one of "them" was walking toward me, and I had a pretty good idea of what she was going to ask. She appeared clean, sober and I would judge her to be in her late twenties. Somewhat timidly, she approached and asked, "Mr., I'm out of work. Do you have a bit of change you could spare me?" "What's your name?" I asked. She seemed a bit taken aback. "Betty,” she said. "Betty, how long have you been out of work, and what kind of work did you do?" I asked. She told me she had been out of work about a month, and she had worked as a cook at a fast food place. "Are you hungry?" I asked. With that, she gave me a nod and a soft yes. Across the parking lot from where we were standing was a Burger King. "I'm going over to that Burger King, and if you want, I'll buy you breakfast over there." With a slight smile and a nod, we both started to walk.
We got our food and started eating. I continued to talk and ask questions of her when I noticed something. She was cutting her sandwich in half, and she wrapped some of her tater tots in a napkin. As we were finishing our food I said, "I noticed you saved some of your sandwich and tater tots." "My friend down the street is hungry too, and I'm gonna take her some of my food." I told her to finish what she had ordered, and I would pay for food that she could take to her friend. "Thank you, thank you," she replied. We talked a bit longer. Then came time for us to leave. I wished her well; she again called me Mr., thanked me and shook my hand. As I walked to my record store, I could still see her, and I watched as she approached her friend, who was still there near the curb. I then watched as she handed her friend the sack of food.
Was Betty honest with me? Was she really out of work? Had she ever worked at a fast food place? Some might say, "Adamson, you are an easy touch, you've been taken again." I don't know and I will never know for sure, but I will tell you three things about Betty: one, she had paid attention and cared about the needs of another; two, she was willing to share what she had received; three, and yes she was hungry.
Now, two of these three are very worthy traits of anyone, whoever they are; "caring and sharing."
March 17, 2012