Back at the grind, eight hours after shutting off the laptop at 3 am.
Arrived at Starbucks this morning in a dark mood. Lots of stuff. Mainly tired and beaten down by writing day No. 432,211. I say hello to one of the guys who works here. He points toward the large coffee he just poured and says, “That’s for you.”
To say I was touched is an understatement. Just a decent thing to do, when he had no reason to.
On Sunday my 7-year-old daughter and I were talking about this very subject. “Daddy,” she said, “when someone is asking for money and he’s poor, we give it to him. Right?” I agreed, but explained to her that sometimes people use money for bad things, and that we wouldn’t want to give a person a few dollars, then have him/her use it on cigarettes/alcohol/drugs.
The very next day I was walking through Manhattan when a girl, sitting on the sidewalk, said, “Can you please help me get something to eat.” As New Yorkers generally do, I ignored her at first. Then I thought about my daughter, and about decency. I ducked into a McDonald’s, bought her two hamburgers, handed them to her, moved on. Am certainly not looking for pats on the back (there’s nothing I loathe more than the idea of doing good for personal satisfaction; ie: liberal guilt), or for credit (she’s still poor and hungry).
But, and I think this is important, we do have the power to impact people, if only for a second. I was feeling down—got the coffee. This girl was hungry—hot a couple of burgers.
OK, done babbling.