What is a good deed worth? Depends on one's perspective. Rather than tell you what I did for what some might consider clout or bragging, I'll just tell you how it felt.
Truth is I was running late, making my second stop after my first attempt to put air in my tire was curtailed by a severed hose, and desperately in need of a cup of coffee.
Nonetheless, I was unbothered at the moment. In fact, I was feeling quite light, airy, agile. I was in a relatively good mood and consciously not allowing myself to be stressed by the jam-packed schedule I had to look forward to for the day.
Long story short, I did something nice for someone who may or may not have "deserved it," or may not have been telling the truth when asking for my assistance. It was a well-crafted, well-rehearsed and well-delivered yarn if it was one. This person has great sales potential if inclined to pursue that route.
As it turns out, the rest of my day was fraught with stress and aggravation, a less than pleasant conversation with the CEO and a crisis of conscious I am in part still working out by writing this. Catharsis, they say, right? Right.
So the best portion of my day saw me part with a bit of money at a moment when I don't presently have a lot to spare, to benefit somebody who may or may not have needed it for the purposes purported. And still, I felt great about it.
I don't know about you all, but I see this rather often. And I don't mean on social media but in real life. I see people "pay it forward" in the drive-thru lane or come up with the missing amount when the person in front of them in line at the grocery store put more in their cart than they could pay for. I see people take the extra few steps to push the shopping cart back into the store, or at least into the corral rather than shove into a vacant parking spot or leave it front wheels up on the curb of a single-tree island in the middle of a parking lot.
People do nice things for others all the time. People still do the right thing when they think no one else is looking, and they do so quite often. We are conditioned to think we are the only ones still doing them, or that more than half the population is waiting around with their hands out hoping someone else will gift them what they want or need. Yes, there is a lot of the latter going on, perhaps more these days than before. But if we look up from our phones once in a while, we might not only see other people helping others, we might see someone right in front of us, whether or not they are asking, who we have the capacity to help.
I'll tell you, even in a situation like mine today where the person could very well have been lying or at least exaggerating his plight, I chose to do what I felt was right because the spirit struck me and I was able to do it.
And though I am grateful I have a car to drive, a job to go to, the money to buy the coffee I wanted and a home to return to when my hectic day finally reached its conclusion, seeing that person's face change when I said, "sure man, let me see what I can do," rather than shrug him off or curse him out like I imagine countless others may have done today, or who knows how many other days, really made a difference in my own day. And for that alone, the money I no longer have for having handed it over to a stranger constitutes in my mind a down payment on small dose of positivity.