Today i watch a local supermarket’s security guard track and stop a man who had stolen a pork pie. Yes, the man stole a pork pie! How do i know he stole a pork pie? Well, as i was leaving the store, the security guard and shop assistant or two and a customer or two were all discussing the fact that he had put the pork pie down his trousers and in doing so had prevented the security guard from retrieving the evidence. As they all chattered and muttered, i added ‘that it was really sad that the man had been so desperate that he had had to steal a pork pie! There was silence, for a moment, but then the chatter continued, although they had heard what i had said they were more interested in where he had put the pie, than the fact that he needed to steal it in the first place. It made me sad!
Yet, as i picked up my bags and exited the shop, i noticed the bus i needed was fast approaching the nearest bus stop and although i saw the man sitting on his sheet of cardboard, with paper cup held out, i barely noticed him and almost didn’t. But, then i turned, opened my purse gave him and few coins and still got to the stop in time for my bus. Then as i reached the bus station where i needed to change buses, an ambulance went blaring past the bus and right into the buses part of the bus station.
As i alighted my bus, i took note that my bus would be in four minutes from stand B, and tottered that direction. In stand C were the ambulance crew and the first aiders from the bus station dealing with an elderly woman who was conscious, but sat supported on the floor and her husband trying to keep calm and keep in all together. One first aider left to get something as he he returned, the bus we were waiting for in stand B arrived and everyone surged forward stopping the man from getting where he needed to be, back with the lady who was on the floor and her distressed elderly husband, so much so that he had to raise his voice twice, before anyone took any notice and let him through.
Another elderly couple who had lost their place in the queue when the man wanted to get through and who had actually moved out of the way only for their space to be filled again with the surge of people. Although i was several people back i motioned for then to step in front of me, for which the woman said thank you and said ‘you have a very kind face.’
Nobody noticed the man with no food, that he had to steal, they just saw what he had done. Nobody noticed the homeless guy sitting on his cardboard trying to make himself small so he didn’t get wet by the rain. Nobody noticed the man who was trying to help a stranger in her distress.
Nobody notices the comfortable homes they will go home to tonight, or the dinner they will eat or in deed the good health they are enjoying. If the man had come to me with the pork pie and asked me to buy it for him, would I? Would you? Do you stop for the person who is silently sitting on cold, wet floor in the hope of a few pennies from a stranger? Would you step out of the way when you cannot help, but someone else can?
Do you go home and say ‘Thank You, for all that you have?