This fifth day of December was awash with rain here in Kentucky, but it definitely couldn’t dampen the holiday spirits of many of the guests at the day shelter for homeless men where I work. Once again, I was honored and humbled to witness an abundance of kindness on display today, but there was one incident in particular that truly touched my heart. This one small act of kindness embodied the spirit of giving that sometimes is sorely lacking in our world, and it reminded me that we all have the ability to give to others, if only we take the opportunity to do so.
Every Friday, a man known as the “Chicken Man”, for the chicken sandwiches and chicken wings he sometimes delivers, comes to the day shelter with an assortment of goodies, such as sandwiches, baked goods, salads, etc., from local eateries, and he hands them out to the appreciative guests. As I assisted with the distribution of food this afternoon, a young man thanked the Chicken Man for the sandwich, and the next person in line approached him and requested a sandwich, as well. The Chicken Man apologized and explained that he had just given the previous man the last sandwich and offered him a choice of baked goods instead. It turns out that there was a sandwich for this older gentleman after all, though.
Apparently, the young man who had received the last sandwich overheard the exchange between the Chicken Man and the older gentleman, and he approached the gentleman and held out the sandwich saying, “Here, buddy, you take it.” The older gentleman looked a bit surprised and slowly shook his head, as he said, “Oh no, you eat that up”, but the young man persisted. He said, “No, seriously, you take this, and I will grab something else. I want you to have it.” As he gently handed the man the sandwich, the older gentleman’s face lit up, and he said, “Thanks, man; that is the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a while”, and he walked back to the table to enjoy this unexpected treat.
As the young man started to walk away, I stopped him and thanked him for being so kind. His face broke out in a huge grin, and he said, “It’s no problem. It felt good to make him happy.” To watch someone who is in need himself share what was given to him was so simplistically beautiful in so many ways, and that sandwich was more than just food. It represented kindness, caring, and generosity, and it was further proof that our guests are the finest gentlemen in all of Louisville. What did you do to make someone happy today?
Just one thing each day . . .