When we were in Colorado, we happened to be leaving a mall when we drove by a homeless man with a sign asking for money.
Hunter's voice came from the backseat of the car, "Mommy, can we give some money to that man?".
I said, "Of course".
There was a time when homeless people used to scare her when we met them on the street. She was always afraid of these individuals because they looked and smelled different.
Our car happened to be stopped while we waited for traffic lights to change to green. We both dug into our purses to give money to this man. I came up with a twenty and Hunter came up with six dollars.
We handed it out the car window to the man, and he gave us a toothless grin and a thank you.
My heart felt both glad and sad at the same time.
This is a man who looked like he should be retired and puttering around his yard with gardening tools. Or off golfing.
Instead, life's circumstances have put him on a street begging for money.
A private discussion later ensued between Hunter and I about our act of giving. I told her I was proud of her for wanting to show compassion by giving this man some money. We agreed that this man looked so sad to us.
I explained to her that the spirit of giving comes from the heart.
The act of giving should not be screened or censored by judgements, assumptions or hidden agendas.
We gave to this man because it felt right in our hearts. We didn't make judgements about his life and whether or not he deserved our generosity. Nor should we.
It was simply a random act of kindness.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
I came upon this great post about 'Random Acts of Kindness'. This post readily embodies the spirit of giving.
I think I may adopt a 'Random Act of Kindness' as part of my next birthday celebration. I am going to encourage the kids to adopt this tradition as well. I hope they learn from me to always give before you take.