Day 282: Getting it right

My good deeds today were on the small-scale (trying to smile and be as friendly as possible … harder than it looks!), so here’s a lovely story I came across on the helpothers.org site. Enjoy!

The Importance of Getting it Right
–posted by jimpa on Mar 22, 2009

The old woman walked with a ramble as she pushed her shopping cart full of worldly possessions. She was dirty, her hair unkempt, her clothes torn, she reeked of alcohol and cigarettes. Most of her teeth missing, the image of a miserable wretch manifested before me.

She stopped and asked me for change. I invited her to lunch and she agreed.  So, we went across the street to an outdoor cafe so she could watch over her shopping cart, while we dined. The waitress was taken back by the presence of this woman and did not want to serve us, but forced herself. We ate our lunches – she was ravenous and the food disappeared almost as soon as it arrived.

When we were ready to leave, I was feeling pretty good about myself and then she asked for a hug.  It was then that I had to face myself and all the hidden repulsion and bias that I had for this woman. It was not her fault, but my reluctance and confusion must have shown. I gave her a passing type of hug and instantly felt shame. She thanked me for lunch and began to ramble off.

I stood there for a moment and realized, that I had failed to give this woman the one thing that cost nothing, Love – my house of cards fell. I called to the woman and caught up with her and asked her if I could give her a real hug and she agreed.  I got past my own stench and gave that women the best hug I’ve ever given anyone. That’s getting it right she said afterward and her radiant smile lit my path as we parted.

The lesson I learned was that if you’re going to give then give it your all and get it right the first time. Thank you for the lesson old woman where ever you are.

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