, , , , , ,

You probably heard the saying “Beggars can’t be choosers”, but can they?

This morning as I exited the train and was walking through the lower level of Grand Central Station I noticed that there was a man next to the ordering line at Zaro’s Bakery.  It seemed he was asking people in line for something.  I assumed he was asking for food.

I will stop dead in my tracks if I see someone that I think is hungry.

I approached cautiously as nowadays I cannot be sure of somebody’s mental state.  I have been yelled at before.

The following exchange ensued:

Me: Can I get you something?

He seemed unsure for a second but then he said:  tea with sugar

Me: Would you like something to eat?

Looking at the food cases displaying all kinds of pre-made sandwiches and other items, he said:  perhaps 2 boiled eggs.

Me: That is it? What about a sandwich?

He answered:  Perhaps some cheese.  If I get one of those (he pointed to a wrap sandwich) it will be a waste.  I don’t eat meat, lettuce, tomato, and those other stuff.

Then he added: I am homeless but I am a picky eater.

I smiled. Before I could say anything, the server, who had been waiting and listening to this exchange said: What about a grilled cheese?

He seemed thrilled with that suggestion and responded:  yes I like that!

I paid for the tea, eggs and grilled cheese and gave him the change.  I wished him a blessed day and walked away as he stayed and waited for his grilled cheese.

A choosy beggar made my day!

Now looking back, and perhaps if I was not one of those New Yorkers always in a hurry, I should have asked him the reason why he eats what he eats.  I should have asked him his name and his story.  I am always curious about how a person arrived at a certain situation.  I also want them to feel that someone cares.

Next time…

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”  – Kahlil Gibran