Inspired by the Man Crossing the Road

I was stopped at a light when a man crossed in front of my car. It was nearly dusk, but I could see him smile as he waved to acknowledge that there was room to pass between my car and the one in front of me.

I smiled back and watched him cross the street. That’s when I noticed what he was carrying: a tightly-rolled sleeping bag, a thermos, and a small bag. He was kind of dirty, and his clothes looked worn. It dawned on me that he was probably homeless, or at least down on his luck.

Yet he was smiling because there was room to pass between two cars.

The light turned green, and I went, but I kept thinking about him. I wanted to offer him some money, but I literally didn’t have a single dollar on me.

Somehow that reminded me of Larry Stewart, the “Secret Santa” who gave away money each year. I decided that I’d spent $70 on some LED Christmas lights, so I could surely afford to spend a hundred bucks doing a Secret Santa thing.

Anyone up for joining me? If you do it, I’d love to hear how the giveaway goes.


  • Dear Jackie:

    I have had similar experiences to the one that you are describing! They make you feel different and somehow they make you realize that there is much more to life than we sometimes realize.

    For the most part we just get caught up in everyday emotions, desires and fears – we forget to smile no matter what.

    I am inspired that you have decided to do something about it! It really is great! I am going to do something like that myself as well!

    Thank you for a heart warming article.

    Best of luck,

  • Tomas, I’m really happy that you’re going to do something about it as well :)

  • I’m not exactly playing Santa this year via money give-aways (I love that stuff–so many people are so hostile and assume the worst of homeless folks. To give money without any strings or judgment is so beautiful), but me and a couple of friends are choosing to give to microfinance orgs this year. We’re going to get together for the usual gift exchange (I did craft them some goodies) and give loans via Kiva and Vittana (I hope I spelled those correctly). We’re going to add to the loan amount each year and just roll them over into new loans. I’m very excited about this new tradition!

  • CF, that’s a neat idea to get together with friends and do that. Will you be giving just to the microfinance organizations in general, or choosing specific loans to fund?