I shared this on Facebook tonight; I’d like to share it now, to a wider audience with the hope that I can inspire one other person to give back.
“It’s late and so, I don’t expect a lot of people to see this post. I want to share a thought that’s been on my mind for 48 hours – even at our lowest economic points, we all have more than someone else.
While driving two 30lb bags of dog food around in the Jeep, I watched a homeless man feed his two dogs part of a sandwich he was eating and try to share water from a small paper cup. I’ve seen this man before by the post-office with his dogs and was also struck then by his dogs sitting patiently beside him, on leashes. As the light turned, he looked up and we made eye contact. I smiled and he smiled. I drove half a block, then circled back, threw on my flashers, and double parked.
I asked him if he had room in his cart for a large bag of dog food. He nodded, looking at me oddly as I pulled out one of the 30lb bags. I also gave him the collapsable dog bowl I keep in the jeep, a spare travel mug, and the 5 bucks I had on me. He accepted them gracefully with a quiet ‘thank you’ and a firm hand shake. I don’t know why he’s homeless and I don’t care. The kindness and care he showed those dogs, by putting them first, it was heartwarming and heartbreaking. I won’t change the life of that man (or his dogs), but at least for a few weeks, he won’t have to share his meal with them.
I’m sharing this because I would like to inspire at least one other person to give to someone who has less. Circle back, stop, and give. “
I wrote this around midnight. I curled up in bed with my 2 dogs and snuggled with them as the cats duked it out in the livingroom. I did my best to fall asleep but I couldn’t stop thinking about that man and his two dogs. I started thinking about the items I saw he had in his cart and I started thinking about the things I have here in the house, garage, and art studio.
Then, I really couldn’t sleep. I got up, did some online research, and and for the last three hours have been digging up supplies to build a care package for a homeless person. And yes, I have every intention of going to find the man with the two dogs later today to give him said care package
As some of you know, I was laid off in December. I’ve been living off money I’d saved for a kitchen remodel (which I scaled back and used minimal home equity funds to complete) and unemployment. There are several job prospects on the horizon. After makng a decent salary for years, I was at first panicked and then pleased with how little I could live on, and even more surprised by how much I already had here at the house. Even in my current economic valley, I have a lot to give. And that’s my point – we all do – in varying degrees.
Since I moved to Sacramento a decade ago, I’ve made a point to donate goods or money or my time to various charities (local dog rescues, back to school donations, holiday secret santas for kids, food banks, etc. My mind’s been twirling for the last few horus; I’m thinking about making a new life initiative to give back on a more personal level.
More on that soon…stay tuned.