Wednesday, May 25, 2011

i wept because of the life i have been blessed with...

I am a little ashamed to admit how one day I let myself slip into a jaded rut about people who beg and how yesterday I thankfully came out of that rut.  It all started in my early 20's, I moved to Boston, I lived the majority of my life in small towns and it was the first time I experienced beggars on the street corners.  I donated freely, I didn't think twice about it, I even remember giving a $20 bill on my birthday.  The individual acted like I had handed him a million dollars, it was so gratifying.  Then one day I was stuck on the Mass Pike entrance in bumper to bumper traffic, I was approached by a person begging for money and I had no cash.  I did of course have a power bar in my purse, this small town girl thought that was a great idea!  It would provide a load of calories in just one bar, he would be fed and happy.  To my dismay, the man took the bar, tossed it in the grass and said, "I don't want that!"  (With the addition of a few colorful words.)  I was crushed and this my friends was the beginning of many years of my jaded attitude toward people begging on the streets.   I am not proud of it, but that is how it all started.  

Yesterday everything changed for me.  Tess, Gabby and I took a trip to Costco, for some reason we took a different route home, on a road we never take.  We encountered a woman on the side of the road, begging for money.  Something inside me made me roll down my window to give her some money.  I gave her some money, the little cash that I do carry on any given day, she was so grateful, it felt so great.  Then Tess asked me why I gave her money and I started to explain to her how she needed the money much more than we did.  That is when the damn broke and I wept.  As I began to explain to Tess it was such a good reminder to me of how fortunate we are.  As she approached the truck I felt ashamed with my iphone sitting next to me, cleaning products bought in bulk, 3 cantaloupe, 4 gallons of milk, 186 diapers.  If we need something I pick it up without even thinking about it.  We were heading back to our house that we own to go and live our happy little middle class life with, good jobs, great kids and family and friends that drop anything to help us if we ask.  This poor woman was of retirement age and looking for spare change on the streets.  As I cried when I talked to Tess about how blessed we are that we have so few worries and we should always be happy to help out people that need it, I realized that this "teaching moment" was more for me than it was for her.  When we pulled into the garage I was still crying thinking what God put in front of me and Tess sweetly said to me, "Cheer up Mommy, that lady is going to have money soon."  I pray that she does and I also pray that I never forget yesterday.   Have a great day.  Love, Gina


Stacey said...

Loved this, Gina. We all need reminders like this. Thank you for sharing.

YOU have such a beautiful heart. xoxo

Shelly Sagedahl said...

Life lessons...numerous life lessons we try to instill in our children on a daily basis, try to explain the unexplainable, try to encourage them to expand their experiences with many small things that matter. You are teaching your children to be kind, loving, and to think of others no matter the situation. Being a parent has made me step back and look at the things in life that are important and that material things (though we have many and are grateful like you) that others are not as lucky. I try instill in them life skills, a good work ethic, and an independence worthy of greatness. You are choosing the path that your parents have instilled in you and this post not only proves that you are a person of where you come from, but also a person who wants to teach your children the value of humanity. Great lesson...proud moment.