In the past I’ve written about how two people can look at the same thing yet see something very different. Just the other day I ran into a real life example…
A local church runs a program where each week they create dozens of essential bags for the homeless. They fill a gallon sized plastic bag with a water bottle, granola bars, soap, chap stick, a bus ticket and anything else they can get donated. They call the program “Hands of Hope.”
I was given a Hands of Hope bag from my mom and later that day, on my drive home, I saw a homeless man standing at an intersection. I was excited to give him the goodie bag so I waved him over as I waited for the light to turn green. He approached with smile that blossomed into a huge toothless-grin when he saw the bag.
My excitement dropped a little when I saw his dental records, or lack there of. One reason I was eager to pass out the Hand of Hope bag was because it contained a large bag of beef jerky. I just knew the jerky would be a hit.
But seeing my new friend’s smile made me think twice about the jerky. Could he eat it? Would he see the offer as an insult? Those were just a few of the questions that rapid fired into my brain in the split second it took for him to get to the car.
Despite my apprehension, I was stuck He had already seen the bag and the light was still red. I couldn’t pull back my offer and I couldn’t speed away.
I was all set to apologize, but before I could even say a word, he exclaimed,
Beef jerky! Awesome, I love this stuff. And since I don’t have any teeth it will last longer!”
We were looking at the same thing, but seeing something completely different. I saw a lack of teeth and thought the beef jerky would be a burden. He saw the jerky as a gift that would last a week.
The man thanked me, gave me a fist pound and immediately started rifling though the bag to see what other treasured it contained. Seconds ago, I had approached the street corner thinking I was going to leave on mark on this man’s life. Little did I know, I would be the one with the lasting memory.
Photo credit: Wikipedia