Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Over the last few months, I have felt bombarded by unhappy stories. I’m hearing about fires, floods and tornados in the United States, a cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake in China. Night after night, I listen to the reports on NPR and I found myself depressed by the time I get home. It’s all about death and destruction.

I was driving home from work the other night and, as I was exiting from the freeway, I saw a homeless man standing on the corner with a sign that said he was hungry. I rarely stop when I’m by myself or with my son. Sometimes it’s for safety and other times it’s because I’m too busy to take a moment from my day. My son asks me why the people stand at the corners all the time. There is something deeply upsetting about explaining homelessness to a four year old. He asks me the tough questions. Why doesn’t he have a home? Where is his family? Does he have boys and girls (my son’s way of asking if he has sons or daughters)?

Seeing that one man was like seeing the face of all of the people that I had been hearing about on the radio and the weight of the realization was crushing. As I sat in my car waiting for the light to turn, I saw the truck in front of me roll down his window and the homeless man moved forward slowly. The driver of the truck handed the man something and I watched the homeless man flash the driver a brilliant smile. The light changed and as I drove past him, I saw him opening up a packaged sandwich.

I witnessed a random act of kindness and it is amazing what one little act can do. I wonder if the driver realized that he brightened more than just the day of the man on the corner.

1 comment:

Third Mom said...

Mo, thank you for this - you have no idea how I needed to hear about something good and kind right now!

Hope you and your family are all well :)