Fireside Rants: Redemption…and following your own advice

We all make mistakes…and sometimes, we’re given the opportunity to correct those mistakes.

Recently, I had a rather unfortunate encounter with a homeless person at a 7-Eleven in the city. I ignored him as I went into the convenience store, but felt bad for doing that. I treated him as if he didn’t exist. I didn’t have any money to give him, but that still wasn’t right of me to do. When I came out of the store, I made sure to acknowledge him, but told him I didn’t have any change to give him. He responded by saying, “I didn’t ask you for any anyway!” and proceeded to say a few unflattering things about me. Normally, I would blow this sort of thing off, but that was not happening on this day. I lit into him badly…called him some pretty choice names and berated him. I then told a clerk in the store that the person “was being a piece of shit.”

I immediately felt bad about my behavior. Nothing this man said or did was worth my blow-up. It just wasn’t that serious. I don’t know if I was just worn out after a long day or what…but I vowed that I would not treat him or any homeless person that badly again.

A week after that incident, I was tested…or given an opportunity to fix things. An older woman knocked on the window of my car as I was leaving an office near the 7-Eleven. I about freaked out because I wasn’t expecting it, but I kept it cool. She apologized for scaring me, and asked me if I had any change I could spare. I double-checked to see if I had any change, but didn’t. I then apologized and said that I didn’t…she then thanked me and walked away.

I stress often how we need to be more kind. Sometimes, I need to make sure I’m following my own advice.

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