The other day while I was walking down the street, a homeless guy ran past me trying to catch the bus. He was lugging quite a number of paper bags, filled with whatever items that a homeless guy thinks he needs. Right when he ran past me yelling at the bus, one of his paper bags broke, and his stuff was all over the sidewalk.
Early this morning, I was on a bus on my way to work. The driver stopped at a bus stop like she always does. Usually a train would've arrived a few minutes earlier, and my co-worker would get off that train and board the same bus. However, the train was late this morning. And the bus driver pulled out just as my co-worker was at the intersection waiting to cross the road. She was waving and yelling but the driver ignored her and get on her way.
I was walking right next to the homeless guy when his bag broke.
I was sitting in the bus when the driver ignored my co-worker.
Instead of stopping and offering that poor guy a hand with his stuff, I kept walking.
Instead of asking the bus driver to wait for another 20 seconds for my co-worker, I sat there and do nothing.
Further down the street, I wanted to turn around and see how he was doing; see if he got all his stuff back; see if anybody stopped and helped.
Further down the road, I wanted to turn around and see what would be a frustrated look on my coworker's face.
But I didn't.
But I didn't.
A few days ago another homeless guy sitting outside the drugstore asked if I can spare some change when I come out. At the checkout line, I pulled out my wallet. Usually I would've paid with the credit card but I thought of something and paid with cash instead. I got almost a dollar worth of change back. On my way out I happily deposited that money into the homeless guy's cup. In return I got a smile, a "thank you", a "you have a good day now" and a "enjoy the beautiful weather".
Almost 2 years ago I saw this heartbreaking story on the news. A bunch of disabled students were having a car wash to raise money to pay for a visit to the local university. At the end of the day they made about 300 dollars, and this money is kept in the teacher's office. That night, a thief broke into her office and stole the money. The students' spirits were not broken by this unfortunate incident, and they decided they're going to keep raising money. I called the TV station and got the appropriate information, and sent them a 40 dollars donation. The next day, a reporter from the TV station called and said they've gotten overwhelming response on the story and they've decided to do a follow-up on that. She asked if I wanted to be interviewed because apparently I was the only college student who called and made a donation. I said yes. Not long afterwards I got a handwritten card from the students thanking me for my generosity.
I couldn't help but wonder: am I turning into one of those people whose idea of goodness and kindness are automatically linked to giving money instead of stopping and help a homeless guy pick up his stuff or ask a bus driver to wait for his co-worker?