On a regular Thursday, I went to my neighborhood barbershop to get my hair cut. The barbershop is in a building that is separated by two rooms. On the walls are a variety of things from pictures of great sport icons to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This shop is a beacon of light for my community. As I entered the shop, I noticed there were about 20 people in the barbershop. Some were getting the haircut, some were watching the big screen T.Vs, and the little kids were playing. So, I sat in my barber’s chair, and proceeded to get my haircut. A small older lady with torn rugged old clothes walked through the door carrying a small cardboard sign. People did not pay any attention to her. She walked slowly to about fifteen men who were having a conversation about sports and showed them the sign. No one responded. Then, she approached me. The sign said “Help! I am partially blind and deaf. Please help me.” It seemed the movement in the barbershop had stopped to pay attention to me. I overheard a man say “She is faking. She is just a beggar who does not want to work. He is stupid if he gives her anything.” I looked at the woman’s eyes and saw the hurt and dismay in them. I reached into my pocket and pulled out all the money I had. I ended up pulling out a five-dollar bill; I gave it to her, and I felt the happiness in my heart transfer to her. She uttered something to me with a smile. She embraced me with a hug, and I smiled back. The only regret I had was not giving her more money.
I believe that it is a natural duty for every person to promote the welfare of another person who is helpless. We cannot control our financial destinies or well-being. I believe it is unethical to deny a cry for help. Now, I could have denied her cry for help, but I believe in being your own person and not following a crowd. I got put in a situation where I could bless a person who is less fortunate. It was not an act of sympathy, more like an act of empathy, because you never know what a situation could bring you to.
Five dollars is not a lot of money, but that day it was a ticket of hope for another person. I probably will not see that woman again in my lifetime, but I hope that the blessing that the Lord enabled me to give to her helped more than it could with me. As I look back, I felt that I helped the well-being of my community. I believe that it takes only one person to jumpstart a change for the best in a community. No matter where you came from or where you are going, no matter how much money you have, you can change a situation for the better.