The Man by the Trash Can

The other day I was pulling into a parking lot of a WaWa in South Philadelphia. When I got out of my car there was an African-American man sitting by the trash can begging for change and food. Usually I mutter all sorts of colorful obscenities under my breath, as the City of Brotherly love is overrun by “beggars” that have all kinds of sob stories that I less than give a shit about. This man was different. He wasn’t rude like other “beggars” using non-typical words such as please and thank you. As I gazed upon him I could see that his face was withered and worn with a look of pure desperation in his eyes. I could actually see the “sadness” that followed him around like a little black rain cloud.

As I am in the store getting myself some iced tea I kept wondering what the man’s story was. What was it that brought him sitting outside a WaWa in hopes that a good samaritan would do something kind for him?

Instead of having my usually shitty attitude regarding this matter; I decided to make a small difference in the man’s day. I grabbed a few iced teas, some soft pretzels and a pre-made sandwich from the case.

As I handed the bag to the man he gazed a me in shock. He explained that I was the first person in a long time that went out of their way and actually gave him something to eat out of the kindness of their heart.

I said “My pleasure; I hope you enjoy it. Have a nice day, and hope things start coming up sunshine for you.”

Driving away my eyes filled with tears thinking of the man, and the kind words he said to me.


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