Tag Archives: Strangers

Strangers and People

11 Jul

Today, I walked out of the grocery store and there was a man sitting by a little table asking people to donate for something. He was probably in his 50’s, full beard, and just looked so humble and sweet and yet I walked right past him with my sister and didn’t even catch what he was collecting money for. People are always outside this grocery store asking for donations to anything and everything and I always walk by, pretending to be fixated on something in the parking lot. This is because the second I make eye contact, I feel so guilty for walking right by them that it stays with me. I ended up going back to the same grocery store late tonight for a quick cookie dough run with my friend and the man was still there. This time he looked completely defeated and my heart broke….but I still walked right by him when I left. I stood by my car for a second, debating on turning around and throwing him everything in my wallet because he just looked so sad…but I didn’t. And now I’m sitting here kind of mad at myself for being like everyone else that just keeps on walking. I wonder if anyone else feels guilty or do people honestly not care? It makes me sad that this man probably barely even made eye contact with people today and maybe he’s at home telling his wife that he didn’t have any luck and people acted like he was invisible. After working in a restaurant for a few months, I’d learned that (for the most part) we don’t really treat strangers like real people. I’ll get frustrated at guests and guests will get frustrated at me and we forget that there’s a whole other life we live outside this moment. So in that moment of walking by a kind faced man asking for a small donation, we think of him as only that…and not as a person. It’s getting late and I’m sure this is turning into a bunch of philosophical hoopla….I guess I just wish I turned around and gave that man the time of day like any real person deserves. 

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