I cried all the way home today. I don’t know their story, she looked a little younger than my daughter, I drove right past her trying not to look, but kind of seeing it anyway. The sign she held said, “Just Hungry” As I passed her, I wondered how many people had just kept going as I just had. I couldn’t do it today for some reason. I pulled over and pulled out a few dollars and a few things from my stash of groceries that I’d just purchased without even looking at the receipt. I pulled up again and I noticed the guy sitting off in the background and wished I’d added something more. The girl jumped up and gratefully took what I gave her as I mumbled something about how I wished it could be more, and she graciously responded with, “Oh this helps a lot, thank you.” I wanted to go around again and empty out my wallet, to offer much more than a few dollars and some token groceries.

It all started with the sign. Just Hungry. I know that much. Such a simple plea and yet the combination of the girl and the guy and the simple fact that I can’t imagine my kids ever having to be; JUST hungry really got to me today.

I know some people might say they are going to use it for drugs or booze or that I was scammed and they have more money than I do. Well, that is not my place to judge. And who knows, maybe the lesson was all mine and had nothing to do with them. I have been in this total funk of feeling stuck where I am right now. Feeling so sorry for me and unappreicated. But I forgot something, it is not all about me! Hey wake up call and all! I have been looking for the wrong people to affirm me.

It puts things in perspective. We have grown suspicious and selfish and it horrifies me that I even drove by and  had to think about stopping. I understand that not everyone who holds a sign that says: WILL WORK FOR FOOD really wants to work, and I do know that some of the sign holders are actual scams and have witnessed a few of my own. But how sad that we have grown so hardened that we pass them ALL. God forbid that one of our kids ever needs help like that. But if every now and then my heart is pricked and I am touched when some other mother’s child is Just Hungry, how can we not just help?


39 thoughts on “JUST HUNGRY

  1. I agree completely that the moment isn’t about the back stories, it’s about how each of you responds to the moment. You felt an urge, an instinct and that to me is a spiritual thing. The yearning to help another. Regardless of who they are or what is true, that feeling and those acts are always true for you. And by pushing past the stories to just what you felt the need to do, you grew. Beautiful.

    1. Noelle
      You are totally right! I never looked at it that way but we are the ones growing and getting so much more out of it than the ones we are giving to! I was in downtown LA today and needing a restroom. We normally go to a McDonalds around where I go do my buying and today was especially inundated with homeless.You have to buy something to use the bathroom. I really didn’t want the whole meal and the fries they gave me were huge. But how to give without offending almost made me not ask this woman on the bench reading and then I realized I was more worried about me than her. She graciously accepted and I am glad I went outside my comfort zone. I was way more blessed than she was.I almost was going to find a different place to go so I wouldn’t have to pass all of them. What I know for sure is… we are ALL human beings with a story. We all need to get close up and stop thinking we are so different. Thanks for taking the time to comment♡ you made me really think about what you said!

  2. That was a truly good thing that you did. Homelessness and begging have become quite prevalent where I live and I find myself in the same situation all too often. Sometimes I walk past averting my eyes (and feel guilty no matter how much I try to rationalise – as you suggest people do); but often I don’t. And those to whom my heart goes out most are the young. I’m sure that’s because I am a mother and I would like to think if it were my child, others would show him compassion. When I was younger I lived in London and then it was the elderly who tugged my heartstrings. Whatever motivates us, the act of sharing what we have with another human being is an impulse of goodness. 🙂

    1. Su-
      You are so right. I just wrote Noelle about an experience that I had today and then read your comment and we ARE SOO on the SAME page. Thanks so much for reading and commenting♡

      1. Thanks. It’s really comforting to read all the comments here; it means that there are many of us on the same page, and that gives me faith in a kinder future – at least in our little parts of the world. My best regards to everyone here!

  3. I always give to these people even if its just a quarter . My theory is that everyones gotta make a living some way and they do by helping to make people feel good about giving I takes a lot of effort told walk around all day asking strangers for money there out in the rain hot sun etc it is not an easy way to make a living

  4. How can we just not help….exactly! If all of us take care of the hungry in whatever way we can we can stop the hunger problem. It only takes one person with one can of food or $1 at the check out when the grocery stores take donations for food banks…that is all it takes.

    1. Party B
      thank you for reading! I wish it were that simple! I wish each community could figure out how to get help to everyone so we’d never see anyone just hungry again!

  5. Oh my God, this is heart wrenching to read yet so heart warming that you were able to help. I know that feeling Di, It has happened to me so many times in the street or market when I’m buying something. I see an old man selling something or a small child begging and I don’t to buy the things I’m buying anymore. In feel guilty sometimes that I have so much while these people don’t. I’m thankful to God for everything. We are so blessed indeed. We seem to very easily forget that sadly…

    Thank you for sharing this, It was a very good reminder. Love,
    Zee ❤

    1. Zee-
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment♡ You are so right about stopping to be grateful. I am so happy that no one said anything judgmental here. It goes to show that the ones here are all one heart and I’m truly blessed by you all!

  6. g- as always, your words touch my heart and make me think! Thank you for always taking the time to read and comment. I love that we are connected! And I am blessed because of it!

  7. I always try to remember that line in Scripture about not forgetting to entertain strangers lest they be angels unawares. So when I can I try to stop and give something but probably should give more. Very nice post! Hugs, N 🙂 ❤

    1. Natalie,
      Me too! I love that verse and I remember it a lot when my heart is pricked and when I drive by. It is hard to judge and I guess I am glad that most of the time, I want to give. What a great reminder for you to have shared! My wise friend!

  8. Who knows what they will use it for in the end. That’s not important. It’s not about them…, it’s about you, and if you feel it was the right thing…, then it was right for you, Di. When it comes to things like this, other people’s opinions don’t count. Proud of you!
    🙂 Paul.

    1. Paul,
      that means a lot! I am always warmed when I see your comments! I am so glad we know each other! Your poetry has grown since we connected and I am also proud of you!!!

  9. You have a huge kind heart and it makes me love you even more then I already do! It is easy to just drive by and think to ourselves oh they are lazy and if the really wanted help or a job they could get one… however we do not know their story, nor have we walked in their shoes..
    As with everything there are going to be a few who abuse and use it.. but we can’t let that stop us from doing the right thing.. ya never know when that extra dollar could mean the world to someone.. Keep your beautiful heart the way it is.. You are a true gift from God!!!

    1. Ahhh dell, (T) 🙂
      I love you too! Thank you! I am glad to see you here more often even though I am kind of hit and miss lately! I love seeing your little green face! lol.

  10. Oh Di, this post gave me goosebumps. Your kindness and compassion reminds us that even with the amount of scammers out there, by shunning them we overlook the ones who really need. I have often been in ‘tourist’ spots that are filled with beggars. It always made me wonder who was authentic and who was lazy. We can’t help everyone, but if we all stop occasionally and give something, we are eventually going to help the deserving somewhere along the way. A beautiful post as always. xo

    1. Debbie!!!
      I am so blessed to have you in my life as such an unconditional supporter! YOU are truly a blessing to me! Thank you for reading! I know you are busy with your next book too! Soooo it means a lot that you take the time to read and comment when ever I write!
      YOU are the BEST!

      1. As you are to me, my friend. You know, I would never miss one of your beautiful posts and inspiration! There’s an old saying, something like, “Your friends are the ones that you may not see or talk to all the time, but when you do, there are no repercussions, you just pick up where you left off,” those are true friends. 🙂 Happy weekend my friend. xo ❤

  11. I understand your impulse to give and have felt the ambivalence you describe about giving to scammers. But, I agree, it is not our place to judge. Generally, though I give through rescue missions where I know my donation will be used only for food or lodging.

    A year or so ago, I used to keep little chicken and tuna snack packs in my car for just such occasions. I guess your post is reminding me to stock up again.

    One thing I know – giving to others is a sure way out of a funk. Great post.

    1. Marian,
      What a great idea! I am going to go and stock up! I love that idea! Thank you for taking the time to read! I always love your perspective and comments!

  12. We live in a society of fear. Too many bad things have happened and we never hear about the good things, As long as people like you continue to look and see and help, I believe there is hope for us all. Kudos.

    1. Quiall,
      Thank you for taking the time to read! I wish I could help more. I guess that’s why I was so overwhelmed. I wish I could do more. I’m not sure how much I really helped. But your words mean a lot. Thank you♡

  13. I understand your feelings , Diane and I’m very glad you stopped. Very proud of you. I’ve also started to connect with service people (waitresses, salespeople what ever) when they wait on me. I call them by their name on their ID badges and when we have completed out transaction I shake their hand and thank them by name again. Most are surprised and then smile and thank me.

    1. What a great way to connect with people! I know in customer service, we are taught to try to use the customer’s name but how many of us stop to connect the other way around?! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  14. This is a sign of compassion, if I may say. Seeing your own children in another child is an experience I have had too. Must be the material instinct in us. Enjoyed reading your post today. Thanks.

    1. Aryan Tara
      I never really thought of it that way. What an interesting way to look at it.seeing others all from a parent’s perspective. I know I’d give more if I could do that! Thank you so much for reading! Loved your input♡

  15. Bravo to you! I do as well give. It doesn’t matter what they do with it. I love that you did this. Also something we did and anyone also can your kids make PBJ’s and give them out with a bottle of water. It’s best to offer a drink of water to a thirsty person then to worry that you left them thirsty. Yay for you!

    1. MichelleMarie,
      Thank you so much! I agree! It all kind of hit me today, that I didn’t even realize that I’d stopped giving. My daughter has some pretty neat memories of shopping with me and then giving someone in need that we’d passed on the way in a store. (They usually had a dog) 😉 I’ve forgotten most of the times we shared giving together but she didn’t and one day she shared her memories with me. One day when she was little, she walked all the way around a pretty large strip mall to give a “vet” in a wheelchair some of her own money and later saw him throwing his wheel chair into a very new and nice car’s trunk and walking around to the driver’s side and driving away. It was sad she had to get that lesson early on but she loved the memories of giving. I’d grown a little suspicious over the years and so today was particularly moving for me.
      I loved your PB & J idea! Everyone loves PB & J!!!!
      And bottles of water! Perfect!
      Thanks for reading!

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