Every day, I pack my lunch, but there are days when I just don’t feel like eating it. Ever have one of those days? This week I had one of those days when I just wanted to splurge and eat out. I even thought about the type of food I wanted to eat.
As I rode the elevator down to the lobby of my building, I thought – hold a sec, what am I doing here? I have a perfectly good lunch in my bag. Why was I going to waste a perfectly good lunch and spend $10 to satisfy my stomach which could just as easily be satisfied by the food I had with me?
I exercised my willpower and found a cozy spot in the lobby and decided to eat my homemade lunch there. By the time I emptied my lunch container, a homeless man came up to me and said, “Sorry to disturb you, I haven’t eaten anything and I’ve been asking around if anyone can spare some change, but everyone so far has turned me down. I was hoping you could…”
I told the man, “Say no more,” and reached into my pocket and gave him the same $10 I had been planning to spend on myself. He looked down at the money with surprise and said “Wow, $10. Thank you.”
Sometimes I think that life is a test of character. The homeless man’s character was tested each time he asked someone for money and was turned down. How hard it must have been for him to be hungry and have to rely on others to fulfil the most basic of human needs.
My own character was also being tested. Like in the movie the Hunger Games, you have people in the Capitol living life in excess, eating as much as they want and more. I realized I’m not all that different from the people in the Capitol. It’s easy to become so focused on yourself and not really think about other people.
Perhaps it was a coincidence that this happened or perhaps it was a test and not a coincidence after all. Either way it was a lesson and maybe a wakeup call that what we do can affect others – whether good, bad or indifferent. It affects them. The choice is yours.