A Brief Connection
By Anne • June 13, 2022
This morning I went grocery shopping and in an enclosed area where the shopping trolleys are housed I saw a youngish man who appeared very distressed. He was thin, bent over and very much alone. I went over to see if he was ok and asked if I get him anything. He said he was ok and he didn’t want anything.
Oh my heart went out to this man who appeared to have a mental illness and to be homeless. His eyes were so very tired, his face drawn and he looked so very, very sad. His feet were in thongs, he had a small backpack, a cap, a pair of well worn runners and a can of coke with him.
While shopping I kept on eye on him to see if he’d moved away or was still there. As he hadn’t moved on I bought him a sandwich, a couple of bottles of water, some bananas, muesli bars and some cheese and cracker packs and popped the items in a bag for him.
As I gave the bag to him I sensed he was surprised at a simple act of kindness, he said “You didn’t have to do that for me.”, to which I responded “I wanted to.” I spoke to him again as I was returning my trolley and he was clearly mentally unwell but I took the time to listen to him.
Here was a man who was clearly distressed, I wished I could have done more for him. He kept apologising for unloading, this man just needed to talk even though his words made little sense.
How many people are there in our world who just need to be shown love, kindness and compassion?!
He introduced himself as Nathan and I introduced myself to him. I hope Nathan felt a little bit of love and human kindness today in a world where many people like him are ignored, discounted and discarded. I’m sure Nathan never expected to be where he is now when he was growing up. I wonder what circumstances have brought him to his current state.
I’m not sharing this story for praise, rather to encourage us to show kindness and to help others if it’s within our power to do so, we don’t know the impact one small act of kindness might have on another.
I won’t forget Nathan easily, his sorrowful brown eyes that looked so tired, his weariness, my brief connection with him today touched me deeply.
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