I was reflecting on parting with $20…
20 bucks is roughly half an hour’s work after the government takes what they see fit.
It buys me very little.
It buys my kid some gas.
It could buy a homeless guy some booze…but it also could also deeply affect his outlook.
20 bucks will never change the world or it’s problems. Still, it might make a profound difference in someone’s life at that moment.
In any case, a 20 dollar bill hasn’t ever bought me happiness, yet the one I gave away brought me a little peace and a heart full of hope.
Then this happened:
I am perfectly content in planning my day of bitterness and monotony as I get my same boring cup of coffee on the way to work.
Out of the darkness appears the older homeless guy to whom I had “loaned” $20. He scares the crap out of me, but I play it off. Then he starts talking at me and puts his hand on me.
All I can think is “I have no time for this…and now he’s touching me!”
I give up and listen.
He tells me a horrific story of internal bleeding and blood transfusions. From the looks of him I don’t doubt it. He says he’s dying. I wait for him to ask for more money.
Instead, he says he’s never forgotten my kindness and he wants to pay me back. I tell him it’s not necessary.
He knows my profession and tells me he’s never gonna climb trees again. He produces an old, tattered climbing saddle, and hands it to me.
“I want you to have this,” he says. “You are a genuinely good person and I look up to you.”
We hug. I get him a cup of coffee and continue about the waking day.
I hang the saddle on my wall as a reminder that we are all connected in ways I cannot comprehend.