Sitting on the MAX train, lost in thought. A mother and her young daughter step onto the train, the mother holding a sign pleading for help. The daughter with scared eyes, wearing a jacket much too big for her and paint stains all over it. All of a sudden I saw my mother and myself standing there, I felt the fear of being eight years old and feeling vulnerable stepping onto a train of strangers, begging. I dug into my pockets and pulled out what I had as the young girl approached me, “do you have any spare…” she stopped talking as I looked into her eyes and smiled, placing a few quarters in her small palm with finger nails painted purple, chipping away. “Thank you!” She smiled politely.
For hours after that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, obsessing of how sad it was, the whole situation. I wondered about the story, how did they get there, is the mother on drugs? I tried to push the judging thoughts away. What it came down to was: I am them, they are me. We are one. What I can’t stop obsessing about is: how can I do more? I can’t give spare change to every homeless person in the world, I’d become homeless myself. I guess what it comes down to is acknowledging intent, with each moment I choose the path of love and kindness. If I can help in this moment, I will, if I’m hurting myself in the process it does no one good….but I will do what I can with what I have in the moment…
“The inferior, old-fashioned method is to use your mind – to analyze everything to death – to run it through the computer – to distinguish how different we all are – to weigh, to compare, to compete with and to kill. This ruinous route leads to the dualistic, stupid self-destruction of our species.
The superior path – to get it together – is to use your spirit – to unify, to empathize with – to be at one with.” –Earth Freaks by Earthman