Ok guys and gals. As the title suggests, this post has nothing to do with beer (other than me enjoying a Saint Arnold’s Divine 10 as I write this), and everything to do with what it means to be human. If you know me already and follow me anywhere online, be it Twitter, Facebook, my blog etc you’ll already know that I’ve never asked anyone to “PLEASE READ” a post of mine, but this one is different. Very different.
I feel the need to get this across to everyone now, as it was something that just occurred to me a few short hours ago. Also, I just think it’s important that people read this, let it sink in, and really think it through. For me personally, it was nothing short of a life changing experience. It’s still difficult to put it into words as I’m still trying to figure out which emotions are really behind it all right now.
I’ll try and not turn this into a long 5,000 word post. I’m just going to put it out there, let you decide on your own how you feel about it, what you think about it, and then discuss.
So here’s the story…
Earlier in the evening I had plans to meet for coffee with my close friend and business partner on KaBoga, David Loi. Before we went over to grab some coffee he was a bit hungry and wanted to grab a quick bite to eat so we just stopped by the closet thing to the side of the road which just happened to be a local Wendy’s, and no I haven’t tried their new fries yet.
As we walked in (why are Wendy’s always the more dirty & smelly of the big fast food chains?) I took a seat at the corner table and David went to order himself some food. I was far from hungry after just sharing a large pizza with some people and was actually rather full, so I of course got nothing. As David came by with his tray and started eating I noticed an older gentleman that looked a bit “unkept” get up, and walk over to the counter. I hate to put it from this perspective, but he obviously looked homeless and a bit down on his luck. Of course I paid little attention to this. David kept on eating and I just sat across from him rambling on about memberships for our site or something of the like.
A couple minutes passed, and the next thing I know as David and I are still talking, this man comes around with a tray of food. A Burger, a small box of chicken nuggets, and complete with an empty cup. He then started to put the tray down on my side of the table and slide it over my way. David and I looked at him, grasping for words because in truth…all we could think of at that moment was that he was either lost, a little bit off his rocker or just wanted to sit down with us and talk to someone. Either way, it was an extremely unusual situation (at least for us) and we were at a bit of a loss.
With the tray of food right in front of me, he looked at me with a smile and very kindly told me that the food was for me, to enjoy it and that I could take the cup, go on up to the counter and get whatever it was that I wanted to drink.
David and I were literally speechless for a few moments. He didn’t ask to sit down next to us, didn’t ask for anything in return, and just went over to where he was originally sitting on the other side of the restaurant.
“Stunned” at what just happened would have been an understatement. To shorten the story which I feel is going to get rather long if I don’t start wrapping it up, we thanked him of course on our way out of Wendy’s but were still in the “totally taken aback” phase. We got in my truck and started driving towards a Starbucks or the like but we couldn’t shake what just happened. It was so hard to put into words as we sat there trying to make sense of it all.
We never did make it to the Starbucks, and instead decided to turn around, help the guy out with what cash we had on us at the moment, and just spend some time talking to him. Yes, he was indeed homeless and down on his luck, slept behind a local Kohl’s department store…and did indeed love beer too! Just not the type of beer we’re used to .
Here was a man…who had virtually nothing. Slept out in the cold. No family around him. Probably less money on his person than we spend on beer each week…
….and yet…he saw me sitting there, with out any food, assumed I was hungry, and couldn’t afford to eat, got up, bought me something to eat, and brought it over to me. Never asking, or assuming for anything in return. Would you also believe it if I told you that it took us 10 minutes to convince him to take the cash we were giving him, and he seemed almost offended by the offer constantly repeating “that I didn’t do it for any other reason than the kindness of my heart”?
I’m not going to lie, I felt massively disappointed in myself and in the society we live in.
Here was a man with nothing, who did something cause he felt someone else was hungry or in need. And yet everyday here I have something, and I’ve learned to just tune out certain realities around us. I was disappointed that an act like this has become such a rarity, almost taboo, that it stunned me and made me very uncomfortable at first.
Of course, it puts things into perspective as to how good we really do have it, and what we should really be thankful for, but this was just such a profound experience for David and I both, that we got virtually no work done, and spent the rest of the night in a completely philosophical, drawn away from our problems, and deep thinking type mood.
I am extremely grateful to have had this experience. It was profound, and it’s something that has changed, and will continue to change my life and outlook on most everything …for the rest of my life.
This is something that I simply want to share with all of you, had to bring this to light and prove once again, that it’s about the human element in everything. It’s all about being human.
Feel free to share your thoughts, stories, experiences below. I would love to discuss this with y’all.