So, there I was cruising south on US-1 last Sunday morning and as I approached Kendall Drive, there “they” were. They were on all four corners of the intersection, and they were making their way up to the cars that were idling, waiting for the red light to turn green.
As I sat there, “they” walked up to my car and all of a sudden they became a person – a person in need, without direction, desperate for food and clearly in trouble. As I contemplated what to do, I realized that I didn’t want to look at them, so ever so slowly and cleverly Imoved my car forward a few feet, so as to avoid any more eye contact with them. And then, I locked my doors.
As I tried to read the sign that this 50ishyear old barely functionally man was holding, he turned away for a moment, “Let me see it,” I said out loud to myself. What am I going to do? I wondered. Am I going to ignore what I see, ignore what I feel, ignore that I can help this man whose sign read “Homeless and Hungry… Please Help.”
“What are you going to do?” Time is passing, the light is going to change and then you won’t have to do anything for this man, I kept saying to myself. My goodness, this was the longest light in the world, I thought. Maybe “they” have a way to control the length of the red light so they can get more money.
It’s so tortuous being a few feet from this man, as he looks me square in the eyes, holding that damn sign and uttering “help me,” which I could clearly hear through my closed window that helped my A/C keep me at a cool 71 degrees. I was hoping that there were some dollar bills in my center console, so I could get rid of him. But, no such luck.
As I contemplated life, I didn’t want to lean to my left and take out my wallet. He would clearly see me and stand and stare as I would fumble through my wallet quietly hoping that I had something smaller than a $10 bill. Then it dawned on me that I had a bunch of change somewhere in my car that I saved for those pesky parking meters in the City of Pleasant Living.
Then I saw the answer, right in front of me was my little change holder. Okay, that’s what I’m going to do – I’m going to give him some change. But then my next dilemma was how much would I give him? It was the next thought that was really revealing, as I started cringing and wondering how I would get the coins from my car into his cupped hands without actually having to touch him. My goodness, how many lessons am I learning today? As I sat at the red light, waiting for the moment to be gone?
And then it dawned on me, I would take my change holder filled with lots of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters and give it all to him. That seemed like a good answer. I rolled down my window, grabbed the change holder with my thumb and forefinger, reached out the window and tilted the holder and the coins rolled out into his eager hands.
In a moment, he smiled and thanked me and as the light turned green, I nodded back at him and then I was off wondering what lesson the next red light might have to offer.
Thought of the Day:
In the end, only three things matter; how much you loved, how truly you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to Michael@communitynewspapers.com.