Monday, May 5, 2014

What goes around, comes aound...

Today I did something so uncharacteristic for me and I'm still not even sure why I did it. It started like this - every day I walk the fifteen minutes from my workplace to the tram and during that walk I people watch.

I think it's the writer in me that feels the need to observe everyone and everything and also that imagines who they are and what their life must be like. In an un-creepy kind of way of course.

Today I passed an older man who was wheeling a pushbike and carrying two oversize striped plastic bags. They were those types of bags which homeless people quite often carry either with their belongings in, or with plastic bottles and cans for recycling to make some extra cash.

I observed this man today as I approached from behind and I remember thinking to myself how hard it would be to ride his bike when trying to carry those bags and also trying to keep his balance but I was also wondering why on a cold afternoon he was walking and not actually riding his bike.

As I passed him he said something to me and I couldn't quite hear him, so I moved closer. At the same time I'm always quite conscious of getting too close to people I don't know (a sad but realistic fact of life these days) however his bike was between him and myself so I felt safe enough to lean closer to hear his words.

He was asking me for $2 or $3 to buy some food. It's not something that I'm used to getting asked and instinctively I told him no that I didn't have any coins. Again the wary side of me was unwilling to open my purse near a stranger.

Onwards I walked and yet half way up the block I found myself reaching into my purse and pulling out a $20 note which was the smallest denomination I had. I then walked back to where he was, placed it in his hand and told him to have a nice night.

The total and utter look of surprise on his face was priceless, I didn't wait around for his surprise to wear off because I didn't want the thanks.

It's not something I would normally do and yet I did it anyway. The reality is that I can spare the $20 and I still remember many years ago when only my husband was working and we had three small children. Back then, having an extra few dollars in my purse was a luxury because every dollar was usually accounted for and stretched to beyond breaking point.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to think 100% that he will spend the money on food, but that's the chance you take and the hope you have.

I didn't do it for thanks and I'm not telling you all about it because its a big thing. It's simply something that felt right to me at the time and I believe sometimes when something speaks to us that we have to just listen even if it doesn't make sense to us at the time.

I also don't intend to make a practice of it, so don't start looking for me walking from my workplace to the tram either.

One thing is sure, I'm a big believer in paying things forward, the belief that what goes around comes around and what you put out comes back tenfold. At the same time I'm not expecting my money to come back. I think my generous radio competition win in March was my 'turn' coming around anyway.

Yes $20 won't change this man's life long term, that was never my intention. For me it was just about providing one small moment of happiness for someone who may not have the benefits that I am thankful for everyday.

Besides I'm feeling pretty damn good about my small 'moment in time' today. So what's your feel good moment for the week?

Cheers, Fi

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