Looking Below Me

Friday night I went out with about 4-5 of my friends to Virginia and enjoyed a new lounge that had been opened. I bumped into some old friends and shared a few laughs over some good food, old memories and my friend’s birthday. I ended up coming home around 3 am with a house that gives me the comfort and all the daily necessities anyone could ask for.

The next morning, I woke up at 1 pm and decided to get some coffee and a chocolate glazed doughnut from Dunkin' Donuts because I really needed it. As I reached into my bag, I saw an old man passing my car and looking over at Dunkin' Donuts just as a kid would look at cake. I didn’t pay it much mind and reached for my straw, took off the white paper wrap, and as I went in for my first sip I saw him counting some change. Instantly, my conscience woke up and told me to do something and help him out. I put my iced coffee down, turned my car off and waited for him to make his way into the building. As he walked in I quickly said, “hey!” -- no response. Then I said “HEY!”, even louder, but still -- no response. I didn’t take it to heart and just told myself he needed some coffee and food, maybe then he’d talk to me.

I told the lady behind the counter to get him whatever he wanted and to make sure to give him all the tasty options on the menu. I glanced back to him and he looked at the lady and said, “I only have $2:50,” but after 5 minutes of explaining, he understood that I’d be helping him out today. The crazy thing was that he knew I was paying but was not being greedy or selfish. He asked for 2 munchkins (doughnut holes) and I honestly looked back at him in complete shock. I looked over at the lady and told her “no, get him 10 munchkins and a medium hot coffee.” Even at this point he didn't say thank you or even as much as a hello. I took out my card and swiped it, and walked away knowing that he’d have breakfast. I sat in my car and instantly had “severe watery eyes” because the night before I’d spent over $50 on a few things at the lounge, and here he was scraping for change to have breakfast.

When I was younger my mother often told me to look at people “below me” instead of people “above me”. Somewhere along the line I lost that philosophy and forgot to look at people below me and help them. The harsh reality is that the rich and middle class people are truly the ones who are poor. We hide behind the expensive cars, clothes and food, but hesitate to hand a dollar bill to someone standing on the side of the road. Now, if your argument is that they will spend it on alcohol or drugs, you are literally using one broad brush and trying to fit everyone into the same category. I get it, it’s impossible to change the world, but you can help change someone's world around.