The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

It really doesn’t take much to make one person smile

McGee and I went to the Farmers Market last Saturday: we bought some tomatoes, avoided some suspicious-looking green beans and made our way through the exit. As McGee tried his best to run down the exit, I held tightly to his leash, nearly loosing the newly purchased vegetables. As my Maltese calmed down and everything else was safe, a woman caught my eye.

This woman stood just beyond the entrance, asking people for donations while handing out a newspaper. With a badge on the left side of her chest, she wearily waved the paper bearing the title Street Zine above her head, asking “would you like to make a donation?” to anyone walking by. Her attempts were to get just one person’s attention. Her face looked tired, probably a result from the discouragement of standing on a corner for an hour without attention.

With no surprise, passersby quickened the pace and looked the other direction. Her hair was dry and brittle, past the point of a couple of days without a shampoo. Her left shoe said Nike while the right bared the Adidas symbol. This didn’t appear to be someone who was taking time out of her Saturday morning just to make herself feel like a do-gooder.

McGee was still trying to make his escape when I approached the woman, asking for a copy. Her disbelief silenced her as she stared back at me. I knew it was encouraged to make a donation when taking a copy, but to break the awkward silence I asked her how much for one. As a smile broke across her face, she told me that however much I can is appropriate.

However much I can? I dug through my oversized bag, past the credit card filled wallet and cell phone and found my change from the tomato purchase… $2. I dug further to try to find more but came up with only a quarter.

I handed my crumpled dollar bills to her as she continued to look at me in disbelief. She thanked me repeatedly, throwing in a couple of God bless you’s. She then bent down to meet McGee, whose white coat looked pristine against her worn hands.

She thanked me repeatedly again as I made my way to my car. She smiled at me then continued smiling as she went back to asking the Farmers Market visitors for donations.

As I jumped into my Jeep, I continued watching her, wondering what it was that I did that made her so happy. It couldn’t have been the two wrinkled pieces of paper I gave her: how far could that possibly go? But maybe it was just the fact that I gave her a couple of minutes. Maybe it at least encouraged her to keep doing what she was doing.

Nonetheless, the troubling this is that I don’t feel good about it. I did at first-I know it’s a good thing to donate to those in need-but the fact that something so small made her day made me sad. The small incident made me realize that there has to be something more I can do, something we all can do. We all forget about it being in the bubble we all love, but those who really need help are out there, and it doesn’t take a lot to help them.

More to Discover