Photo Credit to Camelback
I went to a cool promotional product trade show for my job at Second Step and scored a cool reusable water bottle. BPA free, dishwsher safe, and all that. Excited not to keep having to refill my single-use plastic ones that I save and refill trying to be a good little hippy, the bottle came with the added bonus of serving as a permanent reminder to tote around that I need to drink more water. If I see it around, I remember to drink it, and more importantly, be cognizant of making healthier choices. At first, I was genuinely surprised my liver didn’t go into shock from being exposed to something other than cheap whiskey.
Last night, on my way back from a bonfire in Southwest Detroit, I saw a homeless dude sitting on a milk crate next to a red light with a hand-written sign: “Need a drink, please help!” I rolled down my window and gave him my snazzy new (mostly full with water) bottle. He proceeded to beg me for money and didn’t even say “Thank you!” I informed him that now he has a tool- a source for carrying liquids around that he can refill anywhere, such as a fast food spot or gas station bathroom, and never want for liquid refreshment again. He gave me a dirty look and threw the bottle down next to his milk crate and went to heckle the next driver for money as I turned off the road and continued on my journey home. I was absolutely shocked by how ungrateful the man was after experiencing a small act of kindness from a stranger (me) and the wisdom that accompanied it. Loosing the bottle wasn’t a huge deal to me, as I’m sure I will acquire another one at one of the many trade shows I attend for work purposes, and it didn’t properly fit in my car’s cup holder anyways.
What disturbed me more was the man’s attitude towards my gift, and how different I would have reacted had I been in his shoes. Spreading love and doing good deeds can be a thankless task sometimes. For a brief moment, I considered never doing something similar to that again, and I’m the kind of person who likes to slip $20 bills to homeless people just for the hell of it. I’ve been homeless before and in some difficult spots; It’s nice to be in a position again where I can help those in need when the opportunity arises. I reminded myself that just because the man was a turd, it did not negate the positive action, and there will be others in need of help in the future who will be more receptive to a small act of kindness.
Discuss in the comments how to stay positive and continue doing good deeds when they are not received with the same peace-love-and-happiness vibes you would like them to be.