BFS Prompt #14: ‘Pleas’ and Thank You
It’s no secret that the economy over the last couple of years has been a challenge. So many hardworking men and women have found themselves out of work, not through any fault of their own, but because of adverse, trickle-down circumstances that affected their employers. One day they were gainfully employed and able to feed their families and pay their bills; the next day they were laid off without any idea when they might have another paycheck.
I live in a warm climate in the U.S., and winter is prime time for street corner panhandlers who are hoping to score a few dollars from passers-by. Most hold signs, handwritten on bits of cardboard, explaining their plight and asking for whatever assistance motorists might be willing to offer. Their efforts are contradicted by occasional news articles about how panhandlers aren’t as bad off as they claim and are simply taking advantage of softhearted citizens. Despite adverse publicity, I am sympathetic to all of them because I find it hard to believe that most people wouldn’t rather be doing almost anything else than begging on a street corner. That said, I’m especially willing to contribute to women and veterans, since I fit both those categories and just consider myself to be more fortunate than my counterparts who are on streetcorners. Still, I’m just one person and am totally inadequate to the need…
On occasion over the past several months, I’ve noticed a man, perhaps in his early 60s, along with his dog, at the exit of a shopping mall near where I live. This man’s sign always said something about he wasn’t a smoker or a drinker and that he was just trying to make ends meet. I’ve only contributed to his cause a time or two, but whether I did or not, he invariably offered a smile and a wave (and it seemed like the dog always wagged his tail too!).
I can’t even begin to describe the range of emotions I felt when I drove by that corner and saw this:
That man has finally found a job (hurrah for him!), but he took the time to leave some silk flowers and to pen a couple of signs expressing his gratitude to the people who helped him during his time of need. This humble display made my whole day!
This post isn’t exactly responsive to this prompt but, in my opinion, this man’s plea for help and his eventual “thank you” when his circumstances improved are too special not to be shared.