Doing the Right Thing

Montreal, Canada 

This morning on my way into the radio station as I was rushing through the main hall in Place Bonaventure to get my first coffee of the day I came upon a man who was obviously in some type of distress. He actually began talking to me from such a distance I had a hard time hearing what he was saying. As I approached I began to realize that he was hungry, staring into Marcello’s Market and Deli, eyeing the multitude of tempting sandwiches and salads, envying the people who had come down from the hundreds of offices in the building above. It was such a sureal moment as I walked passed him into Marcello’s.

Yes, I walked past him, left him standing there looking for another person to ask.

He wasn’t loud or angry, demanding money…quite the opposite in fact. He was just standing there asking for some money so that he could eat. A basic necessity that we all take for granted.

As I prepared to pay for my coffee I put something aside in my jacket pocket so it would be easier to retrieve as I walked up to him. It’s hard to explain how I felt at that moment as I made my way back towards him…it wasn’t pity, more of a sadness I think. I reached out to him with my hand and looked him in the eyes to make the hand off. He accepted my gift with a touch to my shoulder and a nod of his head, “thank you”, he said.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw him step into the Deli for lunch just like all of the other people though as an equal now, with money in his pocket.

As I walked into the main doors of Q 92 holding the door open for a few of my co-workers who were themselves heading over to get lunch, my sadness was added to by a feeling of exileration…tough to explain but I felt good!

Now, this story isn’t to tout what a hero I am…in fact I’m far from being a hero, I rarely reach the point of being moved to give…besides I only gave him $5. I want to ask you a question: if giving feels so good why don’t we do it ALL the time? What is it about our culture that doesn’t allow us this simple pleasure?


7 Responses to Doing the Right Thing

  1. Micheline says:

    David, what you did was great….you saved this gentleman’s dignity. Humankind has somehow lost a lot of their feelings. Now with this posting you may just have inspired someone else to do the same.

  2. Ann Carlson says:

    Hi David,

    Just a little comment on your thoughtful deed of this morning. Somehow I think you may have sensed that this man was indeed hungry & not just standing there with his hand outstretched for money. And for you to see him actually join everyone in the lunch line perhaps reinforced your initial feelings thereby leading to the actual fact that you really did give your money to someone who needed and most importantly appreciated your kind gesture.

    Perhaps one of the reasons that it is difficult for us to give more often is that we are literally inundated with requests of that sort on a very regular basis. If not on street corners then through the mail … once our names are on a mailing list … it is difficult to be removed from them and they are frequently shared with many different groups. I often hear people say that they must pick and choose whom they give to … otherwise they wouldn’t have enough left for their own families. Also when you see the same people on the street corners every day … you know that they might not be in as much need as the gentleman that you helped today.

    I work for a non-profit organization and we know the struggles of meeting the day-to-day demands of keeping our Network running but we are also acutely aware that there are many, many generous caring individuals such as yourself who take the time to reach a little deeper and make a difference in someone’s life. We have lived that experience time and time again and are eternally grateful to our supporters.

    Thank-you for sharing your story … I do have to say that today and in the future I will take a few moments to consider the circumstances and reach into my wallet more if it feels right …

    Take care … have a good rest of the day …
    Ann Carlson

  3. David Tyler says:

    Thanks for the comment Micheline…I think you may be right!

    Ann very good points especially coming from someone who works for the betterment of life on a day-to-day basis.

    I think it is in our nature to give, to help those who need it but that it’s modern society which has forced us to turn off that instinct. Naively I’d like to see our nature come out on a Global scale, if the money that world government spent on war was turned around to help we would certainly be living in a brave new world!

  4. Diane says:

    Good story today…it DOES feel good to give or do a good deed, but the reality is that we all have our limits and the sad thing is that very few people reach that limit. Whether it’s a homeless, a charity or some other donation, we should kinow our limit and always reach that limit.

    Bless you


  5. pamela says:

    This is what I call a warm fuzzy story. It makes us feel good about something so slight $5 may not seem like a lot of money to us, to someone who is hungry and truly down and out it makes a difference . Reaching out and helping someone should make us feel good about ourselves. Too often we judge and walk past and not give them another thought. Good for you.

  6. David Tyler says:

    Thanks Pamela!

    “It’s ‘good’ to feel good”…pass it on!

  7. […] an addition to my previous post Doing the Right Thing, where I was asking if doing the right thing feels so good why don’t we do it more often (?), […]

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