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I saw an old homeless man crossing the street, carrying a suitcase.
I remembered the many times I had looked on from afar, feeling sorry for the homeless but doing nothing. I do give money to homeless people when I walk by, but never really interact with them, beside a smile.
Sometimes we think about compassion but we push it into the deep corners of our heart because we’re too busy with life, too shy, or too afraid of strangers. But all it takes is a little awakening from people.
I did what I never thought I could as I’m an introvert and afraid of strangers. I burst out the front door and ran after the old man.
When I reached him I asked him if I could buy him lunch. He looked surprised, but accepted readily, warning me he had big appetite! I was shaking with nervousness and excitement all at the same time.
We went to a Vietnamese restaurant. I told the waiter to give the guy whatever he wanted and I would pay for it. I sat down for a moment asking the old man how he was doing. He told me he was sleeping behind the court house near my work because it is warmer there.
I promised him I would give him a few jackets to keep him warm.
Then he asked me something I did not expect. He asked if he could give me something! I told him that I didn’t buy him lunch to get something in return. But he insisted it was nothing much and he wanted me to have it. He laid some inexpensive jewellery on the table and, unable to refuse, I asked him to pick something out for me because that would be a lot more meaningful.
He chose an owl necklace, something someone else had given him. Since I had run out the office without telling my boss I couldn’t stay long. I apologized for not able to spend time with him and promised I would sit down with him for lunch next time and chat more.
Before I left he asked for my name which is “Mai” pronounced as “my” in english. Then to my delight, he told me his name was “Myyyyyy-chael” (Michael.) I did not feel like I gave the him anything much – but felt he gave me more than I could have asked for.
Of all the men who ever said I was beautiful Michael’s compliment made me feel the most blessed. He was the new friend who helped me conquer my shyness and inspired me to be more proactively kind to others.
(story shared by ilovehammies)