I Didn’t Stop…

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”
- Peter Marshall

homeless

Yesterday I was coming home from a quick run to Whole Foods. The weather was perfect and I thought it would be a great day to have an “Indian Summer” dinner with burgers and dogs. I’m pretty fussy with my meat and I normally won’t buy it at the “regular” grocery store because I want it to be “clean” and if possible, grass fed, local, etc. I know it is a luxury not everyone can afford but since we rarely eat meat (husband is a veggie) it’s a worthy splurge in my world.

So – I bought some local beef and some organic hot dogs. On the way home I noticed a woman standing on the corner. She had a sign and her head hung pretty low. I watched her while I sat at the light – BUT I DID NOT STOP.

I didn’t stop. :-(

Sometimes it’s just too damn much. Maybe it was the despair I felt when I saw her sitting there. This is a very suburban area that tends to be untouched by homelessness. However, in the past year or so I’ve noticed someone occupying that corner more and more frequently. If I have cash – I stop. Even if I don’t have cash I try to make eye contact and smile. After all – these are just people that deserve human kindness.

Not yesterday.

I just drove by.  Sometimes it feels like I am all alone in this effort…and the weight of that awesome responsibility is just too much to bear.  Am I the only one that notices the lone woman sitting there with her face hidden by her hair – sad, dejected, hungry – and stops to make a difference? I guess I was just tired yesterday and I didn’t want to look.  Or – maybe it was bitterness, realizing that even if I helped her it wouldn’t make a real difference – someone would simply step in and take her place – and the cycle would continue.

Sometimes, I feel like doing this “Kindness Project” is just a waste. I am one very small person in a gigantic world full of unfairness and cruelty. My reach is extremely limited by time, money and geography.   I feel powerless to make any real difference.

Yet I push on.

Sometimes I win – and the time, resources, energy and love I share just fill me up.  Other times – like yesterday – I turn a blind eye and continue on my way.  Maybe someone else came up in my place and gave that homeless woman a smile, or some money, and took action where I turned away.  Maybe no one did anything and she left that corner as cold and hungry as she was when she arrived.

All I know is what I did.

Nothing.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.