Just Do Something
By Steve Goodier
I once stopped behind several cars in an
intersection. The winter
weather was icy cold and a strong artic wind blew relentlessly. Ahead
of me a young woman stood alongside the street rubbing her bare hands
together and dancing in place to keep warm. Beside her rested a sign
that read, "I have a baby and no food." She was obviously crying,
likely from the pain of the cold wind.
Homeless and unemployed people are a common sight in many of our
larger cities, and most motorists drive by without offering
assistance. They have no doubt been taught that giving money fosters
a dependent lifestyle, or the ready cash may be used to purchase
alcohol or another substance rather than the food it was intended
for. Like me, they may have been taught that one should give to a
local charity or through one's church, as these institutions can
help those in need far more effectively.
This, of course, is true, but I am reminded of the college students
who encountered a homeless man on the sidewalk. One of the students
took a couple of dollars from his wallet and handed it to the
unfortunate stranger. His friend commented, "Why did you do that?
He's just going to spend it on booze or drugs." The student answered,
"Yeah...like we're not!"
As I waited for the light to turn, I felt conflicted about that young
woman. Whether or not I should give money, she was obviously in need.
And whether or not she actually had a baby really didn't seem to
matter. I gave up guessing people's motives and analyzing their
stories long ago. It was cold. She was cold. And she obviously felt
she had to be there.
What should I do? Give her money? What was best?
As I wrestled with these questions, the window rolled down from the
car in front of me and a hand shot out holding a warm pair of gloves.
The driver took her own gloves off and gave them to the shivering
woman. I saw the young woman mouth the words "Thank you" as a broad
smile lit up her face.
As I debated, somebody else helped. As I hesitated, somebody else
acted. As I tried to decide the BEST way to assist, somebody else
quickly did what she could. As I did nothing, she did something.
I made myself a pledge that day to always do SOMETHING. Whether it is
big or small, just do something. Something is almost always better
Educator Leo Buscaglia said, "Too often we underestimate the power of
a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to
turn a life around." Don't underestimate what you CAN do! Each of us
can do something, and the something you do may be more important than
you'll ever know.
Publisher@LifeSupportSystem.com is a professional
speaker, consultant and author of numerous books. Visit his site for
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