I had forgotten about a man I knew years ago, until I read this link (below). I never knew his name, never asked his name. I still recall his filthy blonde hair, bloodshot eyes, and sunburned skin, and rags-for-clothes. He had no sign, no adorable dog beside him. He sat outside a grocery store in LA. He was a Vietnam Vet. He would ask for quarters.
This was way back when I worked for TWA - early 1990s. On occasion from my international flights I would take a month of weekly flights, JFK to LA. I would do my grocery shopping in LA (at this time I had two toddlers). Almonds come to mind as a delicacy I would not find in wintertime Michigan. The grocery store was only a walk away from our "TWA" hotel by the airport. I would arrive back home at Detroit Int'l Airport with a black F/A bag and several brown paper grocery bags, full of fun groceries for the week back home. I did not fit the F/A stereotype t all.
When I went grocery shopping, I would grab a small something for the man outside - a bottle of milk or juice, a banana, or some sort of bread. I knew he wanted quarters for either drug or drink. I rarely gave him one, but every once in a while. He was kind in his own way. Each time I approached him on my way into the store, I talked to him. Small talk. And on my way out of the store, too. Small talk.
I hope I made a difference.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile. ~ Mother Teresa