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"Let the beauty we love be what we do." - Rumi Sort by:
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lovelylotus
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Posted on Thu, Feb 01, 2007 08:48

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson One of my favorite sayings. I was reminiscing the other day (birthdays will do that to you!) and thought of one of the best moments of my life. No, it wasn't the day I graduated high school. Or college, for that matter. It wasn't the day that I performed at Carnegie Hall, nor was it the day I sang at a Rams game. It wasn't the day I left to teach English in Turkey, and it wasn't the day I came home from that long absence. These were all wonderful days, this is true. But I am thinking of a simpler joy. I was going through a particularly rough time in my life. I was on my own, I was lonely, I was broke and worried and so caught up in myself, that I couldn't see the world around me. I think we all have these times. I was getting off work late that night and a man I was passionately in love with was walking me to my car. It was bitterly cold, one of those nights when the wind and rain chill you to your very bones. I worked in a seedy part of town, so it was not uncommon to see the faceless, nameless homeless as one ventured down the street. I had trained myself to just look past them, and recited the "rules" every time I passed by one of these sad individuals. Don't take out your wallet in front of them. Never let them see that you have any money. If you give to them once, they will expect it every time. Things like that, rules that kept me from seeing the humanity behind the dirt and smell. As I was hurrying to my car, my companion stopped short. I turned to see what had stalled him and saw an old black man slumped against the wall of our building. He was obviously homeless and it shames me to this day that my first impulse was to just continue the walk to my car, as if no one was there. Not my lover. He was better than that. He approached the gentleman and asked if he was all right. We got no response, just a slight twitch of the eye to let us know he was still alive. We moved still closer and knelt to the man, gently touched his tattered coat to attempt to wake him. He jumped at this point and started babbling incoherently. I was scared. Again, not my lover. As I stood guard, he walked to his car a few feet away and opened his trunk. Inside was a warm coat, one obviously made for nights like these. He returned to the car and helped the old man into it. The poor thing scarcely seemed to notice. Inspired and more in love with this man than ever, I went next door to our neighborhood greasy diner and bought the largest cup of coffee I could find. The woman behind the counter had too much make-up and too few teeth, but nothing was wrong with her eyes. She had seen what we were doing, and as nothing was wrong with her heart, either- she did what she could. Into a white bag, she placed some warm rolls and other various food items. A container of milk. A carton of apple sauce. Nutritious foods that didn't cost much, but would mean the world to this man. I offered payment, but she just smiled a gap-toothed smile and shrugged. I went back to this man, laid his newfound bounty at his feet. He stirred and sipped at the strong black coffee. My lover and I stood at his feet, hand in hand and asked if there was anything else we could do. We could call a shelter, take him there. We could call family if he had any. He declined. Said, "I's used ta the cold." So, though it felt like it wasn't enough, we went. The man offered no thanks. We weren't expecting any. We didn't change his life. We just gave him a brief respite from what must have been a very cold and cruel world. Four people were connected that day. A sad, scared young girl, a beautiful man, a not-so-beautiful diner worker and our unexpected catalyst, a down on his luck hobo. Four people were helped that night. Not just one. I knew that with my heart. I went home and settled into a warm bed with a man I loved on an unforgiving night and finally remembered to give thanks. For all that I had and all that I could give. I have never forgotten that lesson. God gave that to me. I am never alone in this world. There is always someone who needs my help, always someone I can offer myself to, always a reason for gratitude. "Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself." -Erasmus


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Boopster2000
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Posted on Thu, Feb 01, 2007 17:18

Thank you LL for sharing, I'm sorry your lover is not longer around for you for whatever reason, I feel that you truly loved him.


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Sinergy
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Posted on Thu, Feb 01, 2007 14:28

This is a lovely story of human kindness. You have honored this memory in this blog of the man whom touched your life and marked a memory in your mind forever. Thank you for sharing it with us, for allowing us the wisdom of what you leant that day.


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Doe2Vixen
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Posted on Thu, Feb 01, 2007 10:08

Thank you for sharing your learning experience with us. And for giving credit where credit is due. Eye opener to the heart.


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Posted on Thu, Feb 01, 2007 10:06

What a wonderful story it just shows how much it means to give love and expect nothing in return - the purest form of love!


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