You see this cardboard sign being held by a woman on the corner of a highway and a crossing to a busy shopping area.
What do you do?
I did nothing. For many reasons. There was no way to stop and talk to her. There was no where to pull over. I didn’t have time to react as we drove quickly by and I just caught the sign’s words as we drove by. She was not in a location that was convenient for anyone to stop and actually offer her assistance. I’m not sure of her reasoning for her location. I don’t offer this as an excuse…it just seemed odd. When I first glanced at her I thought she was one of those sign holders for “GOLD PURCHASED HERE” or one of the “BUSINESS CLOSEOUT” sign holders. As we went by I saw her handmade sign too late.
What could I have done?
I could have asked the driver to drive back and try to find a way to get to her. I know of many many resources in our community for her and her family. I happen to live in a community that is very proactive in helping those who need food, shelter, clothing. This world is full of very good people willing to assist. I could have told her where to go and get help. In addition to that kind of assistance there is also a resource in our community that offers help in finding jobs, doing resume’s, prepping people for interviews, even getting appropriate clothes for interviews. I could have told her how to get food from pantries, free meals (every day in our community).
I could have given her money. I am relatively generous with what I have. Whether it is one dollar or twenty. If I have it and see someone in need, I have given before and will give again. But even at that I would have literally had to throw it at her for her to get it. Unless we were stopped at a light and we were stopped relative close to her.
I could have averted my eyes. But I didn’t. I wanted to know what her sign said. Now it bothers me.
I could have gone to a grocery store, purchased a gift card, and taken a chance she would be there when I got back.
I didn’t do any of the things I could have done. I believe in helping one another. I have been helped in my life time. I have helped in my life time. We do live in a give and take world. I always felt better giving than I did receiving (though this always feels like the blessing it is).
Did I fail her. Or did I fail in who I want to be.
For some reason, I didn’t do anything. Now I wonder if it was something about her.
Or something about me.