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?