A Kindness that almost didn’t happen AKA The Hot Dog story
April 1, 2019
The other night after a long day at work and the library my son and I decided to grab a Harveys burger. Cause after all, Harvey’s does indeed make a hamburger a beautiful thing.
As we stood waiting to place our order an older gentleman shambled in. He was disheveled, unkempt beard and hair, mismatched clothes and yet when he lifted his head his eyes sparkled.
I knew right away that I wanted to pay for his meal.
As we waited in line for our burgers the old man made his way to the cashier and in a quiet voice asked for the cheapest thing they had, “how much for a hot dog?” In his hand he clutched what might have been all he had, a crumpled up twenty and a fiver. As I watched he peeled the five dollar bill away from the twenty leaving me wondering how I was going to pay for his hot dog. I had missed my chance.
With that my thinking changed. Maybe he wouldn’t appreciate it. Maybe he would think I was offering charity. What right did I have to pay for his meal? What would people around me think? I don’t have any spare money. My thoughts went on and on.
Then something that could not have happened 2 years ago, did. Instead of “thinking” myself away from my initial inspiration my thoughts returned to the simple original thought “pay for this mans meal.” I turned and with a simple question “will this help?” handed him some cash.
As his confusion turned to understanding he looked up at me, eyes shining, and whispered God bless you. As we left my eyes welled up and I was overcome by a very nice feeling.
This nice feeling came not from the action, or reward, ego or compassion but simply from the connection to what inspired my original thought to buy this man a hot dog. Call that god, mind, truth, whatever you want but next time you want to buy somebody a hot dog, just fu^%ing do it.