03 January 2014

On Giving and Getting

On Monday, in the midst of a particularly stressful workday, I was invited to go to the Bulls game on the dime of a friend. Free tickets, club level, to a sweet sporting event. Obviously, I said yes. The generosity and kindness of this person to offer me a gumdrop after an unrelenting day in the office, and a particularly unrelenting week weather-wise (oh hay zero degree weather), I was dumbfounded and completely grateful. To top it off, he was unable to make it to the game, and I was encouraged to bring friends. Gum drops for all!

Prior to the game, my office closed a bit early due to a turn in the weather. As I suited up to go outside, I coudln't believe my luck. Free tickets to the Bulls game, an early dismissal from work, pretty snowflakes!!! I left work, took the pedway to Clark and Lake, and upon my arrival at the station, a woman approached me asking to use my phone. I normally would have apologetically declined, but something about the storm, my good fortune, the new year, and her need made me want to help her in some way. She was looking for a place to sleep for the night, had just been released from the hospital, had no debit card, the whole nine yards. My heart went out to her so strongly, that I wound up going to the ATM to help her out with Metra fare to the suburbs. I didn't know her name, only that she was having a seriously difficult week, and I was in a place to help her. Through kindness, patience, and a little monetary help, I hope she found her way to a safe and warm bed.

My reflection on all of this is that I went to the game for free, on the kindness of a generous friend, and in turn was able to pass my kindness on to a stranger. All of this full-circle-universe-ness of my evening last night made me want to do more. You know, go do good? So on that note, if you know of any volunteer work that needs to be done, let me know! I want to get more involved with everything ever. The world is a community, Chicago is a community, people are a community. Let's fix things one step at a time.

Also, on a side note - my local grocery store is closing its doors this weekend for a restaurant next door to it to expand. I've already written my alderman citing that this is a huge loss for the neighborhood, and will be creating a gap in affordable food retail options (near public transit / centrally located). If you feel as passionately as I do about the California Produce Market closing, please contact Joe Moreno

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