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I often took the subway to work each day and today was no different than any other except for the old man sitting on a cold subway floor. I passed this man every day and every day he said hello to me. He was a disheveled man begging for a handout and I watched as everyone passed him by without a second glance. This bothered me and so I decided to do something about it.
Just inside the subway entrance was a coffee shop and so I stopped in, bought a coffee and a cheese Danish then returned to the old man and gave it to him. I watched as his eyes lit up at the prospect of something warm to eat and drink. He thanked me profusely and offered godís blessing. We chatted for a short while and thatís when I found out he was a war veteran disabled and hard times had befallen him. He had no home and family were a thing of the past. Contrary to popular belief, this was not a drunk or lazy person looking for a handout but a gentleman who offered himself in war to fight for the rights we now enjoy.
This very small gesture renewed his faith in mankind and made me feel so very good inside. I looked for him every day on my way to work and if he were there, I continued to treat him to a warm drink and something to eat. I felt this was the very least I could do.
A year ago my mother was found lying in the street covered in blood. She was attacked on her way to the supermarket. A passerby who often saw my mom on her daily trips to the grocery stopped to offer some help. She knew my mom had a daughter who worked at the bank across the street and quickly ran into the bank to notify my sister that my mom had been taken to the hospital. Were it not for this small gesture, we would never have known what had happened. You see, my momís purse and all her identification was stolen from her. Unfortunately my mom passed away in hospital but she was not alone. We were all there with her. My mom was 82 years old and just an old lady lying in the street. Thank heavens for someone who did not judge but offered a helping hand.
I found out just recently that my old friend from the subway passed away yesterday. He was 82 but unlike my mom, he died alone in the street.
I think about this every day on my way to work and know that if given the chance, I would do it all again. You see, if we can make a difference in someoneís life, no matter how small the gesture, then this world will be a happier place for all.
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