Stop, look, and listen to the people around you. Do you really know the story behind the sad faces or even the mad faces of…
- The homeless person on the street?
- The lady in the checkout line counting her change to pay for groceries?
- The person at the gas station with a bank card that’s declined?
- The mom with the child crying uncontrollably, the teen arguing, the toddler melting down?
- The person yelling at you with obscene gestures because you didn’t move fast enough?
- The mom who has reached her limit as she screams for her kids to shut up?
- The parent running late to pick the kids up because the boss’s demands came first?
Stop. Look. Listen. That blank look on someone’s face, the sadness in their eyes, even a display of anger could mean…
- The bills are due, the bank account is almost empty and three kids are depending on them to provide.
- They have lost their job.
- The eviction notice arrived, the electricity is off and the phone company turned off the phone.
- They just found out their husband is cheating.
Many people are hurting, scared and lonely, but in the busyness of our own life we often miss it. Perhaps that sad look is the face of a parent estranged from their adult children and grandchildren because of a long-held grudge. Maybe they’re recently divorced or widowed, or just lost a friend or child. Perhaps they are facing a diagnosis of cancer or other life-threatening disease.
Stop, look, and listen.
In the busyness of your day, take time to look around and notice when there is a need. Maybe you can help by…
- Giving food to the homeless.
- Handing the cashier extra money for the family behind you in line.
- Providing a meal in a fast food restaurant for a family coming in the door or a tired mom with rowdy kids in the drive-through.
- Offering a helping hand to a mom having a meltdown.
- Simply offering kind and encouraging words.
If you know a family that is struggling, provide an anonymous cash gift, pay a bill that is due, put groceries on their porch, offer to watch their kids so they can take a breather and get out of the house, or provide a gift card that they can enjoy as a family.
Let someone know that you care. Provide a listening ear to a person who is hurting or a helping hand to someone in need.
Stop, look, and listen. This unexpected gesture could be a gift they treasure for a long time.