You step out of the drugstore after picking up a bottle of water and some fresh batteries and notice a woman sitting on the sidewalk with two small children and a sign that reads "Help us. Give whatever you can spare. God bless." You exit the BART station and a man with an outstretched hand asks if you can spare any change. The cashier at the grocery store, before hitting the total key, asks if you would like to donate to a charity they are collecting for. It seems like everywhere you go, someone is saying "Please give."
How many of us are just barely making ends meet ourselves? How many of us wonder if we will someday have an outstretched hand asking for spare change?
Hardly a day goes by though that something amazing happens right in from of me. I see people who don't even have two nickels to rub together, being more generous that those living in large houses with big bank accounts. People, even poor people, find ways to give. It isn't just money. I have two apples and you have none, so I'll give you one of mine. That kind of thing makes me smile. The generosity of the human spirit is really quite remarkable. I man with a paper cup who often is asking for spare change near where I work, has on several occasions bought food for a homeless woman in the neighborhood from the meager collection in his cup. I had thought they knew each other the first time I saw it happen - then I saw her reaction and her tears. That had apparently been their first meeting. It was a moving experience for me.
Last night I ate in a restaurant. I was dining alone and ordered more than I should have. When it came time to pay I realized I had no cash at all and was happy that credit cards were welcome. Outside with my leftovers minutes later, I was glad that I had ordered too much food. I had something in my hands to give to that man whom I had witnessed bringing food to that woman. Last night it was his turn to eat.