The following isn't intended to market The Life Society or to use this as an opportunity to gain some real estate in the spotlight or even curry favor from people. Ya'll that know me, know I don't like that type of attention nor does it satisfy any need or desire for me or a member of The Life Society.
There is no recipe to life (society)! You can only act and react off of the electricity of the moment coupled with a handful of certainties. The Life Society is something it's members have to make time for, we do not make salary off this at all. This means that we have to capitulate to the work industry, so while i was at my part time job in holly springs, NC i had a man come in and ask for me by name? I watched his hands as he spoke (to see if he had a weapon) as soon as he finished saying my full name I was thinking "how in the John Brown does he know me"? He says "there was a lady out there who said you could help me". I thought for a long second and I immediately knew it had something to do with The Life Society, at least in a round about way. (Come to find out my other friend co worker Marcy was on break when he asked her for some soap so that explains my mini mystery) He then says, as if I already assumed the worst about him "look I'm homeless i've been living in the street i've done had some really hard times, i'm getting myself together, I asked the lady out there for some help and she told me you could help me! I need some help I just need some soap and toothpaste"
Ok so in a matter of seconds i considered the following:
1. Does he really need help?
2. He never asked for money, the first thing he asked for was soap and toothpaste.
3. How do I know this ain't something he does just for handouts?
4. Has he fell on hard times because of his own actions and choices
5. Is he someone who just gets by on this as a hustle?
my conclusion was it's not my place to judge this man to this extent. I indexed the fact the first thing he asked for was toothpaste and soap. He not one time asked me for money. My mind, my conscious and my inner workings comfortably agreed to help him for what this situation had presented itself to be. I walked with him down the isle of soap and noticed how eagerly happy he was to get a couple of bars while he looks at me and says "the two bars for $2.97 are too expensive?" I say "no, just get what you need and we can look at it when you bring your stuff to the register" while I brought him a tote for the items. He then grabs a pack of razors, a tube of toothpaste and the soap . . . totaled out at about maybe $5 (this indicated to me he was trying to really clean up for an interview or something). While he finished grabbing his items Mariana (friend/co-worker) and I talked about how he should go and just get what he needs. He brought his stuff back and we sent him to get more stuff, this went on maybe 4-5 times with him only grabbing one to two items each time. The whole time he seemed to feel "complex" is the best way for me to describe it, about us telling him to get what he needs! So I went and grabbed a towel, wash rag and mug to put some water in and he finally came back with some $3 shirts and a big bag of chips in his tote.
Mariana basically is compelled to pay for everything out of her own pocket! Mind you she has been a day zero supporter of The Life Society making a contribution to every single campaign we have run! I say I will pay it because I felt like I was now responsible for closing this out but she refused to let me pay! She pays $x for all the items we encouraged him to get and then she gives him cash in hand just to get by with! He is shaking his head continually thanking everyone and he tells us he was doing ok but made some bad decisions and got into some bad situations which led to his current circumstance. He also says "I have possible job interview on Monday and I really want to work and get back right!". "I'm a carpenter if you know anyone who could get me some work"
We shook hands and Mariana took our pic and we exchanged general info. I mentioned what The Life Society was and felt like this story with the picture could help someone or change someone's heart/mind; he was very supportive with the potential of what this could mean by using social media as a positive tool. I don't know what made this any different from anything else and what pushed the moment to the point of us shaking hands and taking this picture together. I feel like we wanted him to be one of the one's to really make it . . . to really use what was delicately placed in his favor to improve himself (if he was indeed as honest as i believe him to be about his situation) He really seemed excited about what happened and I told him "we do have a price for all this stuff, just help someone else out when you get good" He said his salutations and got his stuff and made his exit.
Mariana, Marcy and I agreed he was truly in need of help and that the whole situation was of a higher more intelligent layout
How powerful was that moment for me to prepare myself to pay for items i couldn't afford at the time, to my friend and co-worker volunteering to front the whole bill for this man?
Why would Marcy even direct this man to me? . . . I try to keep The Life Society and my personal life in distinct, separate perspectives and compartments as best I can
Did 39 years of experience with things like this all of a sudden lead to a foolish mistake?
Sugar honey ice tea! . . .
Did the few days of me arranging my schedule with my family, my life, the life society and my other job coincidentally occur to time this encounter as a chance run in?
Why would my mind and heart agree in this symphony of chemicals and thoughts firing off so smoothly to the point i made my mind up that this would be his favor on this day?
Will we ever hear or see from him at all? . . .
Was he hustling us? . . .
Will he make it? . . .
Was he days away from a possible job interview? . . .
Maybe we are all just moving through life and the sheer mathematics of it all would suggest certain people's paths will eventually cross? . . .
Maybe GOD doesn't magically sit there and manipulate things? . . .
but what if . . . ?
maybe we were all taken advantage of . . . ?
Maybe GOD perfectly places these coincidences and activates these chemicals and swings these emotions and motions these thoughts . . . ?