The concert was in downtown Portland, Maine, at a place called Port City Music Hall. It's the cutest little place, with mostly standing-room-only, a bar, and just enough room for a smalltime artist. My sister came with me to the concert, and we were literally the only people in line for about an hour. Then three people joined us. Let's just say that though E Hutch is pretty spectacular, evidently only about 150 people in Maine know about him. While waiting in line, a man walked up to the line and asked if anyone could give him a quarter. He looked like he may have been homeless, down on luck, or something of the like. Everyone in line just kind of looked at everyone else, waiting for someone to make a move. I was thinking about whether or not I had a quarter on me. While I was busy thinking selfish thoughts, a lady in line handed him a dollar. Everyone kind of shuffled in line and looked ahead towards the front of the line. I don't think that I was the only one feeling ashamed for not giving the man a measly quarter.
This story is all to say that I think in the world that we live in, we're sort of taught to think the worst of people--strangers in particular. We see a man on the street asking for money, and our first thought is that he wants to use the money to buy booze, or pay the bill for his iPhone 6. We don't usually consider that maybe the man with the cardboard sign is actually down on luck, out of a job, etc, etc. We just suppose that he's up to no good. I don't say this to say that you should start handing out Benjamins to every person holding their thumbs out on the side of the road. I say this to encourage you to start thinking better of people. Our world is basically spiraling into a clump of rubble and bad thoughts, and it could use some positive thinking. If I could go back to the line at the concert, and the change in my pocket, I wouldn't hesitate giving the man a quarter, or a dollar. I hope that I remember this story next time a stranger asks me for a dollar, or for change for a phone booth. Maybe it'll make their day. Maybe it'll give them some hope.