It may take a little delving into, it might be hidden from you, but if it weren't for social mediums like Facebook or the news, most of you wouldn't know about all the evils going on in the world either. And I'm not saying these mediums are bad, I'm just saying we have to look beyond them. We have to open our eyes and see that for every evil deed, there's someone out there performing an act of kindness.
I was on the street a few weeks ago, working in matters irrelevant to the post, but as I was I met this man. He was about 60, and he was out on the traffic asking for any spare change. I was around him, so we got to talking, and I got to finding out about him.
This man had a deep, strong accent that made it difficult to hear things like his name, but I did eventually grow used to it and in a matter of hours I was hearing his stories.
I don't know about elsewhere in the world. But over here, if you're out on the street asking for money you're usually a junkie, and people treat you as such. Some people will feel sorry for you, and they'll hand you some spare change, but that's that. These junkies don't spend their money on food unless it's absolutely necessary. A loaf of bread maybe. So imagine my surprise when this man rolled out $5 from his cup and went to the nearest fast food for a bite.
I then started to realize several things, his eyes looked healthy, as did his skin, he didn't stink... I've met my fair share of junkies before.. this guy wasn't fitting the criteria. And wouldn't you know I later on saw him counting his earnings. Wads of 5's and 10's put into a separate pile.
I took it upon me to start one last conversation before I left. We talked for a few minutes, he mentioned he would beat me up if I worked at a fast food from here to 10 years, and lead me to believe he was psychic when he told me the girl I'd only just met that day would be my next love.
He was full of it, that never happened.
Eventually I got the courage to ask him what his vice was, and he said he had none. I asked him why he was on the street, and he told me he lived in a house. I asked him why he was asking for money on the street, and he told me he was funding an operation for his clubbed feet.
Now it would've been nice to mention that earlier, but the truth is at first I found it irrelevant. I've spoken to many a wandering drug addict with the wonky feet before, and so I put it behind me and looked on for other hints and clues.
It turns out it's hard getting a job as a cripple. And it turns out that even if you do, the odds of you getting the money for certain operations are difficult. Especially if you don't have medical insurance. Who knew, right? So the man set himself out on the street on a rich, busy avenue, and started telling his stories to any stranger who would listen.
The man had been gifted everything from food, to blankets, to a trip on a cruise once he'd recovered from the operation (courtesy of the cruise ship owner). Knowing all this, I finally just asked how much he still needed.
The man told me he had already paid for the operation, and he'd be taking it January 9th of 2013. He was about $5,000 short, just for therapy and other little do-dads he'd need done. I asked him if, being that it was nearly mid December, he would be able to come up with the money. He just smiled, nodded, and said it was definitely doable.
|I didn't have it in me to ask for a picture of his feet. I'm a bad blogger.|
What does that say about society? How did this average Joe have it in him to see that people could be good, and yet the average do-gooder are stuck worrying over the evils that surround us? I'll always find it upsetting how it's easier for people to focus on the bad than the good, but as long as those of us who try get any attention, I guess we're not so bad off.
I just wanted to share that. Anyway, life is good. Enjoy it.