I handed all the cash in my wallet, which was only $2.00, to a lady at the exit ramp and she said “God Bless You”. It got me wondering, would God bless me because I gave a stranger $2.00? I’m not even going to get into the fact that I was urged by something deep inside me to do it. But as I drove away, I wondered, would I be blessed and does that even matter to me.
I’m not sure it does matter to me, the older I get, the more I question the existence of an actual God. I certainly do not live my life based on whether or not I’ll be blessed or condemned by an all powerful being in the heavens. (I’m sure this revelation will keep my mother wake at nights and land me on her prayer chain. Sorry mom.) I live my life based on two things. The first is I determine what is the right thing to do and the second is I ask myself if that was the kind thing to do. I have no idea what that lady’s tiny cardboard sign said at the end of the exit ramp. But, I do know that today in Nashville, it was 83 degrees and 60% humidity. I also know that $2.00 would buy that lady an iced something from the Dunkin’ Donuts right down the road, and it was the kind thing to do. I have, thankfully, never been in the situation where things were so dire that I had to find some cardboard, write a sign and stand on an exit ramp with that tiny cardboard sign. I have, however, been in the situation where I had to rely on other human kindness to feed my children when I was a single mom. Maybe this was the start of my religion, the religion of kindness. Whatever it was, it just makes my heart hurts every single time I see someone at the end of an exit ramp, the grocery store parking lot or the red light with their cardboard signs, so I will ALWAYS, empty my wallet into their hands.
I read an article in a newspaper from Pennsylvania, where they referred to these people, the ones with their little cardboard signs as “riff-raff”. There is a town here in Nashville that won’t even let these same people on their street corners or exit ramps. These people are humans just like me, and you, and you are perhaps just one paycheck away from looking for your own cardboard to make a sign. These humans, who are just like you and me, for whatever reason, fell on hard times. It is not for me to judge why. It’s not for me to judge what they do with the $2.00. It IS my responsibility to be kind to these humans the best I can. But it’s not just my responsibility, it’s all of human kinds responsibility to be kind no matter the person. Not just in the Starbucks drive-thru line, but at the exit ramps and street corners.
Nothing but good can come from you being kind, I am sure of that. Let kindness rule your decisions.
Photo Cred: www.matthaydenblog.com