Posted by: JulieAloha | January 10, 2017

New Year’s Resolution

This year I have already resolved and begun my 365 Gratitude Project to document those things in my life for which I am thankful. I now further resolve to try to make a small difference in some other people’s lives. Granted I am sometimes cynical about people I see panhandling day in and day out in a customary spot – this is their job in lieu of a job – I don’t know their circumstance, what led them to their situation, but I can’t help suspecting they could either better their life with a bit more effort in the right direction or they have chosen a transient life and the very fact that they are back day after day suggests that they are making a go of their choice without my assistance. Occasionally I have been moved to help someone in need: a man sitting outside a grocery store with two dogs and all his belongings, not asking for anything, just waiting for the rain and wind to die down; a woman with three hungry kids in the grocery line having to take items away one by one until the total is something she can afford; a young traveler with a sign reading, “I’ll bet you can’t hit this sign with a quarter 😉”. I’ve pitched-in in these examples, seeing a need and making the choice to do something – bought a few groceries, paid for a bill, donated a fiver to reward a great gimmick. But this year I want to formalize my impromptu community service by declaring a Resolution and holding myself accountable here on my blog. Each month this year I will donate or help or give in some way to better someone else’s life with no expectation of reward except to fulfill my Resolution. I will look for opportunities each day and when I feel so moved I will act. So…

January 10, 2017: On my lunch break today I ran to Safeway to get some chicken soup and cough drops as, though I am in steadfast denial of it, I do seem to be getting a bit of a cold. As I turned into the parking lot I saw a young woman sitting on the curb at the entrance to the lot. She was poorly dressed and shivering, holding a cardboard sign that said, “Please, anything helps. Thank you.” I found the few items I came in to purchase, then went back around for a couple of apples, some beef jerky, a box of granola bars, a bottle of water and a cup of ready-to-eat hot chicken soup from the deli. It didn’t cost me much, but it meant the world to her. She cried. I cried. We both smiled and I drove back to work.

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