:So I went to this really cool event in Chicago called ACTIVATE: Couch Place. It was basically an outdoor dance party/art exhibition…staged in a pseudo alley in the downtown area.
I rarely drink, but I had 2 glasses of wine.
In rapid succession.
Which may have left me feeling buzzed. Which in and of itself is sad. 2 glasses of wine. I have the alcohol tolerance of a skinny 5th grader.
But beyond that…wine makes me feel…
Like….romantic, and a little bubbly, carefree…and foolish. Rambunctious.
It’s a mesh of feelings and emotions, and as I began walking back to my car, I found myself deep in thought.
My first thought was basically what I just said above.
“Man…wine makes me feel weird…”
and my mind started spinning off into thought.
And that was when I noticed the kid. He was probably about 9, maybe 10. A little chubby black kid…kind of like Kid President, with adorable cheeks.
I’d actually noticed him as he’d approached 2 people walking ahead of me, and they kind of passed him without so much as a head nod.
Let me just say that people who walk around with their head downs, ignoring the world piss me off.
You piss me off to no end. People bemoan the police right now…a lot. I get it, we got issues, but I can assure you that we should all be glad we have them…
….because if we didn’t, people who walk around ignoring every other person, like it’s some kind of condescension to realize that their are mere mortals amongst you would be getting a boot in the ass from me! Worthless.
Anyway, it just kind of hadn’t registered in my mind that the kid was going to approach me. I’m deep in thought, Facebook messaging, pondering great questions, and then…
“Excuse me sir…I’m trying to raise money for xxxxxxxxxxx….and I’m selling lollipops. They’re one for $0.25 and 6 for $1.00. Would you like to buy some?
Well, not only are you adorable, you’re freaking eloquent. And after the word some, he presented me a bouquet of Dum Dums that he was holding in his hand.
And this is what people couldn’t take 2 minutes out of their evening to acknowledge.
This was also when I noticed the woman standing about 6 feet away. I’m assuming his mom. I quickly take stock of her…homeless? Hmm…don’t know. Is he really raising money for a team…or money to eat? I don’t know.
So yeah, I got a buzz going, I’m caught up in the romantic feel of a beautiful summer night…I’m pondering why my love life is in the shitter…and I say…
“Well my man, I’m actually trying to cut back on my sugar intake…and I never carry cash on me…
which is true, I rarely carry cash on me. However, I happened to grab some cash before I headed to ACTIVATE and I had a $10 bill and a $5 bill in my pocket.
…but I happen to have some cash on me, so here you go.”
and I gave him the $5 bill.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m having…umm…well, let’s just say money issues. I really don’t have cash to literally give away…
…but it’s a kid man. Maybe he is raising money for some sports team to buy gear….or maybe he’s just raising money to get some food…or a hotel room with air conditioning for the balmy night.
After handing him the $5, he handed me the whole bunch of dum dums he had.
“No my man, I’m really trying to cut back on my sugar. You hold on to those…but you don’t have too much sugar either ok? It’s bad for your teeth.
“Ok” he said sweetly.
“Promise” also said in a very sweet way.
At this point, the woman closed the distance between us, and she smiled.
“Thank you” she said.
“Of course ma’am” and I headed out on my way.
Now…I don’t share this story to boast. I’m no better, nor a better person than anyone reading this.
I share this story, and stories like it to simply show that…man…you can literally take 2 minutes out of your day, or $2 out of your wallet, to make someones day. To make a difference.
Hell, take money out of the equation. It would’ve been just as great if I’d said
“My man, I don’t carry cash on me. I’m sorry. But I think it’s great that you’re playing with your team, and if you keep up the hard work you’re doing, you’ll reach your goal. Hard work will take you far in life.”
But that was too much hard work for the people who preceded me, who passed the kid by like he was nothing. I can’t even understand how people do that. What kind of cloth are you cut from?
So yeah…If you’re reading this, chances are that you enjoy privileges that a lot of people don’t. Use that privilege to brighten someone else’s day. Be it a stranger on the street, a coworker…whoever. Especially if that person obviously needs it.
It’s always said, but so very often heeded…that you never know what someone is going through, and your 30 second interaction could make or break their day, hell their year, or sadly, their life.
Be better tomorrow than you are today…not because who you are today is bad, but because you can always be better.
Think about it.
And let me just say that aside from all the fun I had during the evening, seeing the smile of that kid and his mom were, by far, the highlight of my day.