January 31st, 2010

me with graffiti

Writer's Block: Random acts

What was your last random act of kindness? Do you believe in karma?

a couple days ago. as odd as it sounds, this is a true story. i was in boston, near park street/the common, for a doctor's appointment. after the appointment i went to this middle eastern cafe to get a chicken kabob, rice and salad meal. i only had $20 on me, and needed $7 for the parking garage after. the meal was about $11 with the drink and the guy at the register gave me the right change, but there was a man in line behind me and he handed me a 20 and said "here, you dropped this". i knew i hadn't dropped it, but there was no one else around, so i thanked him and put it in my pocket. as i was eating, i was trying to look around to see if anyone was looking for anything, in which case i would have asked them if they had dropped it, and i would have given it to them. but no one was looking for it, so i decided what i had to do was go out to the common and look for someone who needed money. that wasn't gonna be too hard cuz there are homeless people all over the common.
s soon as i walked out the place, there was a man right in front of me who was in good health, asking for change. i smiled at him but walked past him thinking there are people in more need. but right before i crossed the street, i turned back and gave him some spare change and he thanked me. i crossed the street and went over to the common. i sat and smoked a cigarette, looking around for the right person.
i saw someone, sitting alone on a bench with a small cart and ragged clothes. i thought i was an old man with long hair at first, and i was drew to him. as i walked closer though, i realized it was a woman, not much older than me but in real bad shape. she was clearly homeless as well as physically disabled. she was sitting alone and already looked a bit shooken up, and i was a bit nervous as to how i was going to approach her without scaring her.
i walked up to her, not to close, as i didn't want to invade her space, and i said "hi" and she said "hi" i asked her how she was and she said "ok, i think..." i could tell she was weary of me from the start. i almost just turned away, because i didn't want to scare her and have her think i wanted something FROM her, so i introduced myself, and she gave me a very cliche fake name, but i wasn't trying to find out her real name anyway and i just told her, "i know this is kind of strange, but..." and i explained what i just explained on here. i said someone dropped some money and how it wasn't my money and i just didn't feel right taking it when i knew there were people out here who could use it more than me. and i said "i thought maybe you could use it more than me" and she said that she indeed was in need of money, though she still seemed unsure of me and if she was going to have to do something to earn it. i handed her the $20 and i said "it was nice to meet you. i'll leave you alone now cuz i want you to know i'm not looking for anything from you in return. i just want you to be well" and she said "thank you" and as i turned away, she seemed genuinely grateful and maybe even a little mind fucked that there really were no strings attached. as i was about to enter the train station, i gave a crackhead begging for change some loose change as well and she jumped for joy and said "happy new year" and i smiled and said "happy new year" to her too.
it was an interesting experience and i know i helped a few people feel good, even if just for a minute. i know there isn't a lot you can do to help the homeless. most of them will be stuck there forever, especially if they are addicted to drugs, but if a quarter and a smile makes them feel less alone, how am i not gonna give them a quarter and a smile? and the woman i gave the $20 to i also think i made a good choice with because something about her told me that she needed to be reminded that there were good people in the world, and i got the feeling that she wasn't so far lost yet that a little faith might actually have been just what she needed. it wasn't about the money with her. she needed money, yes, and $20 is a lot when you have nothing but it isn't much in america. it's a lot to me to be quite honest. i generally can't afford to be giving people $20. but i think i landed that money as an opportunity to help that woman. and now she is specifically in my prayers as well. i hope that it gave her hope.

and as for karma, yes i definitely believe in it. i have changed my life a lot in the last couple years for the better and karma has rewarded me. bad karma used to rule my life. i have a saying "karma's only a bitch if you are". but i didn't give the money to the woman for my own karma, i gave it to her as a means to change her karma for the better, if that makes sense. however, my own karma has been effected by it i believe. i have nightmares every night of my entire life and this past couple weeks they were getting even worse. but since my "random act of kindness" the last few nights i have had the best dreams i've had in forever. dreams that are giving me hope. so i am very grateful for karma. it is a beautiful thing.