Jon and I were running a few errands today and decided to go to Ba Le Bakery, one of our favorite sandwich joints, for a banh mi. As we were leaving, a homeless man waiting outside the door, asked Jon for some money. Jon just shook his head.
We walked a bit toward the car and then he stopped, turned to me and said, "Should we buy him a sandwich or something?" I said, "Sure. Why not?" So we turned around.
I asked the man, "Can we buy you a sandwich?"
He nodded and said, "Yes...oh, and some juice, too. Please."
Jon asked, "What kind of sandwich do you want?"
The man immediately said, "Uh, uh, uh, shrimp...and some juice, please. Or some soda...oh, and..."
I said, "We'll just get you something." He kept going on with a list of things that perhaps he missed eating...I added, "Beggars can't be choosers." I don't know why I said this.
Jon got the man a shrimp and pork sandwich with an iced tea. Jon asked me to give it to him. I handed it to the man. I felt badly for what I had said...I could barely look him in the eye. He looked at me, so I looked at him, too and he thanked me and we walked away.
I asked Jon why he asked the man what kind of sandwich he wanted. He shrugged and replied, "We may as well get the guy something he wants."
As we were driving to another store, stuck in traffic, I looked out the window. There was a man walking down the sidewalk, yelling things, as people sometimes do, and he passed a couple guys. I watched as the man asked one of these guys for a cigarette. The guy gave him one and began walking away. The man, seeming disillusioned by such generosity, caught up to the two guys and gave the one guy a hug...then he asked for a light. This made me smile.
Look people in the eyes. It shows you care.
Give someone a hug. It shows you care.
Tell someone that they matter. Because they do. We all do.