Compassion in Action

I try my best to point out the best in people, and who better to give proper credit to than my wife. Not only is she a great wife (and beautiful as the sun setting over Cape Cod Bay), great mother and friend, she is also a great and compassionate person. Last night she had a story to tell me when she got home from work.

A co-worker asked her to go to the front of the restaurant, while she went to get a manager for something. When she got to the front of the restaurant a woman was standing there. My wife asked her if someone had helped her and if she needed to be seated. The woman said the other girl, the co-worker, was going to get the manager and she had something to ask him.

The manager than arrived from the back, the woman seemed a bit nervous. She said she was there, to hopefully get some dinner. She said she didn’t have any money and hadn’t eaten in days. She had just moved here from North Carolina and became homeless. She is also 14 weeks pregnant. The manager said he could not feed her, citing the fact he had no right to give away food that was not his. From what I understand, his demeanor was not that of trying to save some money for the company, but he did not want to give this homeless person something to eat. So that was that and he went back to do his work in the kitchen and the woman slowly started toward the door. My wife and a co-worker stopped her. My wife had just ordered herself some dinner and it was sitting in the window to be picked up in the kitchen, she said she would share with the woman and gave her half of her meal. The co-worker felt inspired and bought the woman a steak dinner.

While they were waiting for the steak to cook they got a chance to talk with the woman. She didn’t do drugs, she wasn’t an alcoholic, she was just having a bad spot of luck. The father of the child growing in her womb was nowhere to be found, and she said she was better off without him. She seemed genuinely down on her luck. My wife pointed this out, imagine the humility she had to deal with to ask for the food? It breaks my heart thinking about it. When the steak arrived the woman was very grateful for the things my wife and her co-worker gave her. The co-worker did say she could not do it again, having children of her own that she has to feed. The woman than said she planned on not asking again, and she was very happy to have met two wonderful people like my wife and her co-worker.

When my wife was talking to me about it she said she felt like this woman was her, she reversed the situation to get a better grasp on it. Being that person, she knew she had to do something. My wife is not as “into” Buddhism as she says I am, but at times I think she’s a better Buddhist than I am alot of the times. I do my best, but she does it all the time. She is a great woman, as is her co-worker, for this great and compassionate act. Even if the woman lied about alot of the things, it didn’t matter, she was still another human being who deserved love and respect. I am very proud of my wife!

2 Comments

  1. Compassion is a very universal thing! :)

    …couldn’t your wife offer the homeless person a job in the diner? That would mean: free meals AND a job! :D

  2. And you should be proud of her, as a fellow human being, I’m proud of her as well. It is so easy to walk by these situations instead of stopping and doing something. I agree that it doesn’t matter if the woman was truthful or not, what matters is that she is a human being shown kindness and compassion by another human being–that is love in action and a beautiful thing. I took my kids to see Stardust today (I love Neil Gaimen) and Vane, the star, says that she has watched earth for centuries and often wanted to turn away because of the pain and horrors and war. The thing that kept her watching was love–because no where else in the universe is there anything more beautiful than love.

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