About a week ago, I started carrying a blog notebook in my purse for whenever inspiration hits. I am really glad I did. Inspiration hit in an unexpected and touching way last night and it had me filling up quite a few pages.
An older homeless man walked into Starbucks when I was working alone. He let me know right off the bat he was homeless, and he simply bought a cup of coffee and went to the corner to charge his phone. I, as usual, had to pee. Without thinking I left my purse with all of my money and cards in visible sight. When I returned the conversation went as followed.
Homeless man: Don’t ever do that. (points at purse)
Me: Don’t…ever do what?
Man: Leave your stuff like that. Don’t ever do that. I told you I’m on the highway. You don’t know me. Don’t ever do that.
He was was actually angry with me for being so incredibly careless. I found it heart warming and a little amusing too. I followed up with a question I already knew the answer too.
Me: Well, you didn’t take anything did you?
Man: Nah. No, I’m old school.
Five minutes later, he repeated my rhetorical question and had a long,hearty laugh about it. We continued making small talk; He let me smell a candle he bought himself for the night and voiced his concern about the raccoons getting to it. I told him I was married and he got a big smile on his face, asking me question after question about me and my husband, and smiling the whole time through. I learned he had a girl he was interested in outside of Texas and tomorrow he would be leaving to find his way to Alaska. He didn’t ask for anything from me but to watch his things, he payed for his coffee and was was on his way. However, he left me with a lot of thinking to do and a million questions racing through my head.
I’m naive. I can be pretty stupid. I think it says something when a homeless man yells at you for your stupidity. There’s a lot of bad people in the world, I know. But I can’t help but think that this proves there’s more good. It may be dumb to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I do. Trusting and believing may be something you should use with caution, but I never really have. The homeless man who had the chance to steal every last penny from me? He could have. Statistics say he would have. But he didn’t. Instead, he taught me that I’m glad I’m stupid. That yeah, okay, maybe I do need to watch out for myself a little more. But if you don’t go out there with an open heart; if you don’t look for goodness in people, how will you ever find it? If we always have our guards up and our noses up our asses, think of all the good conversations and truly wonderful people we’re missing out on. If we’re not hoping and believing for the best in people, there’s so much we’re losing along the way. As for me, I met a pretty cool dude last night and I hope he finds exactly what he’s looking for. And as for me, I’ll take being naive and trusting over being bitter and safe anyday. I’m sure it will get me in a lot of trouble and tremendously screwed over time and again, but what I’ll be getting in return? I learned last night, It’s worth the risk. Though for the sake of not being yelled at again, I’ll probably take my purse to the damn bathroom next time.