Last Friday, I found myself in an interesting situation.
I was motivated in my apartment…Cleaning out things, dusting, organizing, and collecting a bin of items to donate. It was a wild time.
I carried down a water cooler I was getting rid of and placed it by my car. I took a break to catch my breath. It was rather heavy. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an elderly man in disheveled clothing, he was smiling and waving at me. I smiled and waved back. I then began to pick up this monster cooler attempting to gracefully place it in my car. I was struggling, but kept re-attempting to place it in. On my third attempt, I stopped abruptly as I smelled urine. I turned around and the elderly man was standing behind me. He jumped right in and lifted my cooler and motioned for me to go around to the other side of the car. I pulled it through on the other side, still in shock that he was so wiling to help out, no questions asked. I was flooded with emotion. He had a broken piece of leather make-shifted into a belt, dirty clothes, and about three teeth. He reeked of urine. After we successful got the cooler in my car, he smiled, three teeth and all, and opened his arms wide for a hug. I was again caught off guard, paused, and hugged him. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Even now, days later.. when I think of this moment, I experience a similar reaction. Emotions. Lots of them. I then asked him if he was hungry. He mumbled something I couldn’t quite make out. I pointed to the deli across the street and he smiled and said, “Yes, food.” My heart. Again, tears now running down my face, I brushed them away and with enthusiasm stated, “Ok, let’s get food!”
When we walked in, people immediately stared. After several attempts to understand what he wanted, we finally made out, “Grilled cheese and French fries.”We sat down and I poured him water from the bottle I purchased for him. He poured himself water and then instantly, pushed the bottle towards me with a smile. This man was so selfless. He had nothing and was still so willing to share the smallest amount of anything he could with me. Tears, again building. I tearfully expressed, “No, please..that is for you, all that water is yours now.” We had a little small talk, and communicated nonverbally most of the time. We sat together for maybe ten minutes. He leaned over and mumbled something and then said, “Uh uh uh, I’ll be back..” I didn’t think much of this, and stated, “Ok.” He got up and walked out the door and then down the street, so fast that I couldn’t find him nearly 5 minutes after he left, as his food was now prepared. At first I was so upset he didn’t get to eat. Then, I realized it’s really all a catch and release. I was so grateful and moved by this man. He magically came in and out of my life in the span of 30 minutes.
Here’s what my time with him taught me and how it can apply to your life!
Catch and Release
- Helps us be mindful
- When we attach ourselves to outcomes, we can become disappointed
- Be grateful for non-material things. They are only things, we can’t take them with us
- Each moment is a gift. Truly. Cherish where you are & whom you are with…you only have this moment once
- Want what you have…
- Most people are good, there is still goodness in the world.
- People come and go in our lives
- Please pass on kindness, compassion, and empathy, no questions asked
- Holding on can hold you down
- Make sure to set things free