When I was 19 years old, I was at dance club and met someone who walked me to my car. We were in downtown Seattle and it was a very cold night. As we were walking to my car, a man walked up to us. Behind him was a woman pushing a stroller with a child inside who was about 1 1/2 years old. The child had a jacket on but it wasn't zipped. The man began to tell us that he wanted to borrow some money for the night to get his wife and kids into a hotel...out of the cold. He had a job but no place to live and was waiting for his first paycheck. He said he could get our mailing address and mail the money back to us.
The guy I was with reached into his pocket to give this man a $20 bill. As the other man was extending his hand out to take the money, I put my hand on my new friend's hand and said, "Can I talk to you for a minute?"
I told him about how my mother works in Seattle and every day people ask her for money on her way to work. She said they make more money than she does, simply begging for money. These people were scamming those with soft hearts. And if they were truly worried about their child being out of the cold, they would have at least zipped his jacket or covered him with his blanket.
My new friend looked at me with disappointment and said, "Michelle, I know there are people out there that take advantage of others. I also know there are people out there that are one paycheck away from being homeless. If I give $20 to 10 people and only one of them really needed it and used it for the right thing, it was worth it."
I am now 37 years old and have never forgotten what he said to me. I don't even remember his name. He could have been an angel for all I know. But I do remember that that experience changed my perspective and the way I look at different situations.
Instead of judging, look with compassion.
Submitted by Anonymous
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