The Ripple Effect

photo by my beloved Hansel

I am homeless not helpless.

That is what this man's sign says. He sits under a tree with his dog, almost every Sunday--near the street by the organic grocer where Hansel works. When you drive by, he smiles and waves. He looks old and worn from the sun and the harder parts of life.

Do you know how much food costs now-a-days? Do you know how much they jack up the prices of organic food even more? But I'll tell you, I'll take an organic, juicy, red apple over a non-organic one any day. They taste better. They make you feel better even. And, I am blessed to know the difference. I am blessed to have such an abundance in my life.

Sunday, when I drove past the homeless man, something told me to turn my car around and go to the grocer again. Something told me that I should share with this man, if only it was one little meal. But then something also told me not to. Just go home Connie. Where will you park? What will people think? Maybe he's not even homeless.

It's funny how good intentions are always followed by a skeptical voice.

But, I went into the grocer. I purchased a sandwich, some grapes, a huge bottle of water, and some dog food. I drove back to where he sits, and I pulled to the side of the street. I thought: I'll hop out just for a moment and give him the food. But when I looked into his eyes, I realized he was no longer a homeless man--he was a soul, just like me and you. So I stayed for a little while to talk.

And you know what happened?

Another person pulled behind my car and stopped. They gave him some money. And another behind that one, and another behind that one. Each pulling out things from their grocery bags.

And right before I left, another car stopped again causing a traffic jam.

That's all it took. One person to step out and share--to open their heart to another human being. I'm not telling you this to receive your praise. I'm telling you this, in hope the ripple effect that happened Sunday on the street--can happen again--starting here.


Indie Grrrl said...

This is such an awesome message Connie! It takes the questions out of the equation and right to the actions of kindness. LOVE you.
Hansel- LOVE the pic of Nyla. She's a soul-ful girl! said...

Thanks for sharing this story. Adding this to my mental log over good things in the world - to remember those days when I feel pessimistic.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and inspiring story! I am glad you followed your first instinct and in essence gave all the others permission to do the same.

Lisa said...

I have tears in my eyes!! My skeptical voice always speaks up and all too often, I follow it.

You are such an inspiring soul - may I remember your good deeds that rippled out in the pool of love next time I am faced with such an opportunity.

I still have the chills...what a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing! I hope there is no ending.

Lisa said...

I forgot to share...Hansel did an amazing job capturing Nyla's moment! She appears so deep in thought.

Sandy Dempsey said...

Our allergies and respect for each other may have kept us from hanging out, but the Universe obviously had other plans for you.

Your story is such a great example of how one person can make a difference.

Big hugs and love, Sandy

Lis said...

beautiful story ... wonderful reminder of how each of us makes our impact in ways big and small. that man gave you such a gift ... to know that our acts matter ... i am reminded of the greatest advice given to me as a yoga teacher: i am not here to teach, i am here to love. that is all any of us really want ... to be seen, heard and loved.

LeeAnn said...

There is a song where one of the lines says: "Do you recognize me.. Do you see who I really am?"

Our judgments keep us apart. What a great gift both of the action and of the story.. Thanks for sharing.
The Divine Cowgirl,

Emma said...

Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for sharing this story!

And that's a beautiful photo of Nyla.

Deborah said...

Ever so happy to have landed upon your little patch of cyberspace.
De-Lovely! **blows kisses** Deborah

Michele said...

I love this story! I thought I was the only one, like you, my instinct is to do good, and like you at times I talk myself out of it and when you say that out loud it sounds ridiculous but we all do it. I am glad you turned back around it showed courage, it was kind and everyone should strive to be kind to one another. Good for you xoxxo Michele

Zom said...

Thank you darling, that was a beautiful story.

sweetmango said...

How different this beautiful world would be if we all just saw the soul within the cage.
LOVE this
LOVE you

Melita said...

oh my god, i love you! you are so amazing. you are right, it only takes one person. nyla is such a cute pup & hansel is a fantastic photographer! love to you all. hugs!!

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Ah yes, a lovely story. I was out walking at lunch today and saw a homeless woman sitting and leaning against a wall. She was drinking a soda, not really begging or asking for anything. I looked her in the eye and smiled. She said, "hi" with a genuine warmth and I said, "hi" back and nodded, acknowledging her for who she is. It carried me far into the day and as you can see I am still carried by that simple exchange of not looking away, not pretending that she wasn't there.

LisaC said...

What a beautiful and inspirational story. Makes me want to be a better person. You have such a kind soul.

Anonymous said...

hey sparks i love you thanks for help me w/ the computer

~Barb~ said...

For years I have been "trusting my gut"...I am the crazy woman that gives rides to the occasional hitchhiker, feeds the homeless, pays that $4.92 that the obviously in-need Mom w/ 4 kids in front of me in line at Wal-Mart is short, pays for the order of the person behind me in the fast-food drive through...I just feel like that every little thing we do to make this world a better place WILL have that ripple effect.

And, admit left that wonderful soul you shared a meal with feeling better than you have in days, huh?

Yep...those things do even more for us than they do for those we share our kindness with.

I just love you, Connie. Really.

Peace & Love,

Kim Mailhot said...

Love is the answer to every question. You got it girl ! Let's make ripples !!!!!!

Carmen said...

What a great story Connie. Thank you for sharing. I'm all teary eyed now. Thank you. You are a gift.

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