Hope Mr. Singh doesn’t find out I stepped out on him. Mr. Singh is my Outreach Connection newspaper salesperson (“Helping the Homeless and Unemployed”). I usually buy an issue from him every week. And if I miss a week, he saves me a copy.
As you may recall, I look forward to his “Notable Quotable” on the front cover of the paper. Well, today I had an appointment uptown and passed another down-on-his-luck guy selling Outreach Connection. He was thin and wiry and wore a yellowed painter’s cap over his wispy gray hair. He nervously hopped from foot to foot as he tried to sell an issue to each person passing by.
I was planning to remain loyal to Mr. Singh and keep walking, but then I saw the man’s stack of books.
Piled beside him were what looked to be a set of encyclopedias. No paperbacks in sight, but instead, about six thick leather-bound reference books and a bunch of notebooks. From the way they were stacked neatly beside his backpack, it looked as though they were near and dear to him, as if he didn’t go anywhere without them.
As you can tell by the picture up top, I’m a sucker for books, so I dug out my money, bought a paper from him and wished him a good day. His whole face brightened up, “Thanks!” he said, “You just made my day!”
I hope Mr. Singh understands. His “Notable Quotable” today?
“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”
— Dalai Lama