My mother through her fine example instilled within me the desire to help others. She taught me to notice those whom others ignore. She was compassionate.
The railroad tracks were within a mile of our house. "Beggers" and "Bums" (as they were known) frequently would knock on the doors in our neighborhood in the summer asking for food. They were often turned away or rebuked. Others simply ignored the knocks.
My mom always went to the door smiling. She would invite them to stay and have something to eat. She would have me open up the card table and carry a chair out onto the covered side porch. There was a nice view into the flower gardens, and it was cool even on the hottest days.
She would bring a red and white checkered tablecloth and set the table as carefully as she did for any company. She would pour their coffee and pile their plate with food and dessert. Usually she sent a packed lunch with them when they were ready to go too. Sometimes she would take the newspaper to those who asked about work.
She listened to those who wanted to talk. She never asked what led them to be in this predicament. It did not matter. She saw only the need. Some thought she should not extend this courtesy. She would say, "In the depression when my father was scouring around for ANY work to feed us, thoughtful people fed him. I am just repaying their kindness. I cannot offer them money, but I can see they do not leave hungry and discouraged."
My mom was quite a lady.
Submitted by Anonymous