Monday, February 1, 2010
My wife and I go to Long Beach, CA once a week. We get off the freeway at Bellflower St. A few blocks down is a McDonald's restaurant where we usually stop to have breakfast. This is "our" McDonald's.
Last week I saw an older man in a mechanical wheelchair positioned near the door. For some reason I was drawn to him. I walked up and said, "Nice chair!"
He nodded. The man had a look on him that told me he'd seen and done a whole lot of things during his life and probably experienced as many downs as ups.
"Can you spare some money?" he said.
I reached into my pocket and took out a $5 bill. I handed it to him and smiled. He did not smile. He simply took the money and said "Thanks."
I nodded and walked into McDonald's to order breakfast. On the way out he was still there. I saluted him in two finger style. He saluted back as if to say "Glad to meet you, buddy."
So, what is my purpose in telling this story on a marketing blog? I think it is this:
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Giving that man $5 made me feel a whole lot better about myself. It made me feel fine. It made my day.
With one caveat: Like Schindler, I should have given him more. I had more cash in my pocket. I've been extremely lucky in my life. God has been very good to me, you might say.
Some people would scoff at me for giving money away that way. They might say I should donate to a Church or to the Red Cross to help Haiti. I say, if that makes you happy, then do it.
For me, I'd rather help people more directly. There is a story behind every face. It makes me happy, thus I am acting selfishly.
I've learned to respect the adage "What goes around comes around."
What do you think?
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