Can you spare a dollar?
My good friend, the Reverend Peter Kreitler www.peterkreitler.com , helped me figure out a dilemma: I confessed to him that sometimes when someone on the street asks me for money I get tight all over and my head gets filled with judgement, weighing if this person is worthy of my spare change. I feel mean and resentful and I hate myself for being that kind of person. Peter said to me, “Alexandra, we don’t know what pain and suffering anyone has endured. Give everyone who asks a dollar, no matter who they are. If they are asking, that is enough”. I immediately felt a lightness come over me. Deciding beforehand to open my heart to everyone rid me of my judgement and my pettiness. Now I make sure to keep dollars in my wallet so I always have something to give when someone asks. Drunk, raucous, able-bodied – all the things that might have discounted them in my mind and brought up a snotty disapproval in me now are accepted and I am able to see the humanity in the person as I look them in the eye and for a second we have a connection, human to human.
It was such a simple solution. Thank you, Peter, for helping me be a better person. Some might say I am enabling addicts or condoning laziness, but to me I am simply letting go of superiority and separateness.