Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Part of a Conversation

On the bus yesterday a tired looking shabby man pulled out his tired looking shabby phone and made a call.  Parts of his conversation stay with me.

I am so sorry darling.  You might have to stay home from school for another day...

Your mother doesn't want to help...

I can't find the money for lunchboxes they say you have to have on top of the uniforms...

I WILL find a way.  I can sell the television...

I am on my way to work.  There has to be a way...

I love you...

Then we reached my stop.  As I got off the bus I pushed $20 into the hand that held the phone (which I can afford much better than he could).

The gap between the haves and the have nots is growing in our supposedly first world society.  And it worries me.

142 comments:

  1. Very sad. School doesn't help demanding all that, either.

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  2. Such an unfortunate call that that man had to make to his child. My goodness.

    Your gesture of kindness was much needed.

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    1. Bea: Wasn't it a shocker? A call no parent should have to make.

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  3. Public schools require uniforms? Here only some Catholic and some private schools require uniforms...there are alternative schools if one can't afford uniforms. School is something that is SUPPOSED to be affordable for all but even in this enlightened age there are some aspects of school that some pupils can't afford such as the weekly hot dog or pizza days etc.

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    1. only slightly confused: I have no idea what type of school it was. Some of our public schools do have uniforms. Unable to attend without a lunch box amazed me, but of course I don't know whether it is a requirement or that they just thought it was. So many questions. Pizza day would be out of the question for a lot of families I suspect.

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  4. That was a lovely thing to do and I bet he really appreciated it. In the UK state schools offer every child a free lunch.

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  5. It's a shame on society, isn't it? But bless your kind heart for doing something to help go against the flow.

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  6. Heartbreaking. Who knows what the story is behind that phone conversation but these people were hurting. I am sure that your generosity was a kindness that will stay with him also. As all of us know who read your posts, you are a person with a big and loving heart.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: I am quite certain there is a lot of back story to that conversation and of course I have been thinking about it. Sad and bad.

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  7. Sad, really sad. Thank you for your contribution to the little girl. Sigh. My mood is sour because I listened to way too much of the "president" yesterday. :-(

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    1. DJan: I don't even know for sure that it was a little girl - or how old the child was. Like you I assumed a girl... Listening to politicians sours my mood too. So I have stopped.

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  8. Thank you for taking the time (and money) to help him. It is a sad state indeed. There is a woman, not much older than me, who sits on the side of a local convenience store. She doesn't beg. She has no sign, but I could tell she needed help. The first couple of times I simply said hello and asked if she needed anything. Especially because it's so cold. She said she was fine...even though it was in the 30's. The next time I told her I was buying lunch and asked if she wanted me to grab one for her too. She said, "I never turn down food." When I asked what she wanted, she said, "Whatever you bring me, I'll appreciate it." I think that even in adulthood, it takes a village.


    Elsie

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    1. Elsie Amata: It does indeed take a village. A caring, concerned village. Thank you. Like your woman, this man wasn't begging. I was eavesdropping on his private tragedy.

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  9. That's a pretty intense conversation to here. And that was kind of you to give the person $20. I hope I jump on an opportunity to do the same if it arises. I'll be more on the lookout for this.

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    1. Natalie Aguirre: It was incredibly intense. And he looked so defeated. Even his body language was defeated despite the brave words about 'finding a way'.

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  10. the best kind of charity is when you can give to someone directly as you so astutely did, thanks for doing so. I once left a restaurant years ago and a man was rummaging through the trash for food, I had a "to go container" and handed it to him. He thanked me so profusely; I was glad he happened along at that moment. All over the world in "civilized cultures" this same imbalance is happening, even here with the economy booming, the cost of food has gone up 25% in 10 years, so folks think the lowest paid are doing ok because they have jobs but they are not, they have to sacrifice leaving out a necessity in their lives every day and of course they don't want to leave anything out of their children's lives.

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    1. Linda Starr: Thank you for thinking on your feet and giving that man food. Some days I only see opportunities when they have slipped past.

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  11. The gap is growing in my part of the world too. We owe it to God, to humanity, to whom- or whatever you believe in to do our part to make this world better for people to live in, not worse. I only wish more people were like you.

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    1. Uglemor: That gap worries me badly, despite the fact that I am probably on the 'right' side of it. I do try and help, but continue to worry.

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  12. It is a sobering thought indeed that this is what we have come to. So much of the world's wealth now is concentrated in so few hands. It is ironic that the father had a mobile phone, that obviously had to be paid for out of meagre resources, but I suppose that is deemed essential equipment these days.

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    1. David Gascoigne: I thought about the phone too but suspect that if he is casually employed then he needs to be contactable at all times so yes, it probably is an essential. The concentration of wealth (and the resulting privilege) in a very few hands is something I find scary.

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    2. Many "down-and-outs" have mobile phones, usually the cheapest kind, given by whichever job agency you are signed up with, with recharge vouchers supplied as long as they are actively looking for work or doing volunteer work or work for the dole jobs. Centrelink or whichever job agency you are signed up with will also supply bus tickets if you don't have a car.

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    3. River: I didn't know that about mobile phones and job agencies. Or Centrelink and bus tickets. Things have changed a lot since I worked in what was then Social Security.

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  13. That is heartbreaking. And you are so right, the gap continues to widen. Once again, you've added stars to your crown.

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    1. Sandra Cox: No crown here, just a crying need. And a heart like soft butter.

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    2. Oh EC, the crown is there, you can't see it, but we all can.

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    3. River: Thank you. I don't see it, but thank you.

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    4. I see your crown too. It shines like a halo! Thank you for being you EC! Big Hugs!

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    5. Magic Love Crow: Thank you. You are a shameless flatterer. Huge hugs.

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    6. Magic Love Crow: Thank you. So much - with love.

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  14. Now that is an O'Henry plot just waiting for someone to write it. What a beautiful and generous thing you did for him and his child. Maybe that will give him exactly what he needs to get over the bad spot he'd in.

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    1. cleemckenzie: I hope so. I really hope so, but his numbers are legion.

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  15. Dear EC
    What a mixed up world we live in. Sometimes, a generous gesture can restore faith in the goodness of human beings - thank you for doing that for this man.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: I am so glad that I thought to do it, and carried through on the thought. I still regret not covering the small gap the person ahead of me in the supermarket queue faced one Christmas Eve...

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  16. While it is a world problem, it has become more so in both America and Britain, and extremely so here in our own country. How much does it cost to send a child to a free public school? Rather a lot, it seems. If children are not educated, there will be a whole other underclass in the future. The sound and well tested principle of redistribution of wealth through taxes is falling apart. Good on you for making a small difference to one person. It can be difficult to judge who is worthy on a personal level with the prejudices we all carry, which is one good reason to have a decent social security system.

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    1. Andrew: You are so right about that future underclass. And the decent social security system - though that has some prejudices of its own, including an assumption of literacy.

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  17. So many sad and worrying elements to this, not least that he is caring for the child and the mother "doesn't want to help."
    I hope that your kind gesture remains to the the fore and that he doesn't have one of those snaps that involves firearms or blades.
    Can I say that there are 2 views on school uniforms? I never liked them, but understand that many families these days view them as a "leveller," If children wear civvies (non-uniform) to school there will always be some who have better, newer, smarter things.And, yes,lunches are a growing problem.And, increasingly, teachers are buying fresh fruit and juice so that they can feed children who come to school hungry.
    Thank you for helping him.

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    1. dinahmow: My high school's uniform requirements were very lax. We had to dress in school colours. Those who had money were very, very evident. That he could say to the child in a flat tone 'your mother doesn't want to help' hit me hard too. Not something a child should hear, not least because of the implication she COULD help if she wanted.

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  18. The gap is getting ever wider here too and it IS scary. But there's still hope as long as there are angels like you among us.

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  19. There is another sad component here in this phone conversation. He supposedly asked the mother of the child for help but she refused to help.
    That also is sad.
    A child's education should't depend on wether the child parent can afford a lunchbox and a uniform. The world is so greedy and full of injustice.
    I hope this was not a scam because we have to aware of those also. I would have done the same thing as you.
    Hugs, Julia

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    1. Julia: I only eavesdropped on one side of the conversation. There is so much to the story I don't know. Perhaps the mother of the child has her reasons...
      I agree with you that a child's education shouldn't be dependent on the parent's income. Sadly it too often is.
      I don't think it was a scam. The bus was not crowded, he didn't ask for money (or even look at me). If it was, I fell for it, hook line and sinker.

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  20. Thank you, EC. You are more kind than...
    Oh hell. Just thank you.

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  21. That is heartbreaking. I know here in New York, children are given a huge list of things they need. But, what happens when the parents are poor and can't afford it. My hubby's sisters were teachers before they retired, and I know they used to buy all kinds of things for their classes before they started fall. That was a wonderful thing you did for that poor man.

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    1. mxtodis123: I know teachers here spent some of their money on their students too. On food and essential items. I am grateful that they do it, and hate that the need is there. And it isn't as if our teachers are all that well paid either.

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    1. Marie Smith: I was grateful that I could see a need AND step in albeit in a very small way.

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  23. Our schools require uniforms. In the private schools where you pay tuition, that's one thing. In the public schools, it is a different story.

    The fact is, if you do not have the money for uniforms, the public schools may not refuse to let you in. They don't advertise that fact, but it is true. Also, a lot of people share last year's uniforms with other families, and you can usually find them in the second hand shops.

    As for the lunches, if more than 70% of the students in a public school qualify for free or reduced cost breakfasts and lunches because of family income, then they just give the meals free to everyone in the school. In our schools, about 90% of the children qualify for free or reduced cost meals, so everyone can eat free.

    The problem comes in when the kids are home for school breaks or summers and there are no free meals.

    That was a beautiful and kind thing you did, and i hope it helped him.

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    1. messymimi: I am pretty certain that our public schools can't turn pupils away for not having uniforms as well. However, that doesn't help the problem of 'not fitting in'. I hope it helped that family too. Despite the fact that we didn't speak, his story touched my heart. And yes, I suspect quite a lot of children struggle over weekends and during holiday periods. Which is sad and bad.

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  24. I hope the money helped the man and his daughter. There is a saying I love which is "It is a blessing to be a blessing" The best thing we can all do is be our best toward each other.

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    1. Anne in the kitchen: Thank you. I hope it helped, and also hope that he can find more long term and comprehensive assistance. There is never too much kindness.

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  25. Oh my goodness, that is so sad.
    What a wonderful kind person you are for doing such a good deed.
    There would be thousands out there like that man unfortunately.

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: How I wish you were wrong about the thousands in similar positions. You aren't though.

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  26. Gap? more like a gaping chasm, an abyss with no bridge across it. As for mothers who won't help, I know all about that. HER money goes first for things she can smoke, any leftover goes on questionable groceries (fast foods) cheap microwave meals with little to no nutrition etc.

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    1. River: You are right about that chasm. And how I wish you weren't. I am very sorry that you and your family know first hand about the non-helping mother.

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  27. The gap is huge and widening all the time...I hope what you did helps. I'd have done the same.

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    1. e: I grow ballistic with rage when I hear politicians talk about the 'trickle down effect'. So many people need floods of help (and the wealthy too often damn support well before it starts to trickle). I hope that it helped - if only to know that someone was thinking positively for him.

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  28. Very heartbreaking but this man needs much help to look at reality. First of all it sounds like the child is registered at a private school. So there are more questions than answers it could be that if the child had to go to a public school it might be a dangerous public school unfortunately thus has become our lives. I do not know him or his situation but I will stay put in a pray for guidance for him and his child. My personal inner feeling - that mother should be shot but then what do I know.

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    1. Rasma Raisters: There are indeed more questions than answers. Some (perhaps most) of our public schools do have uniform requirements. Only knowing a fraction of the story I wasn't thinking highly of the child's mother either. At all. Perhaps she has her reasons but it is so wrong that the child is the one to suffer.

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  29. I have heard from someone in the know that there is oodles of help available for this type of situation but most of us don't know how to access it, which is a great pity.
    I have tried to give away school uniforms many times and not found takers, I find it hard to believe every family in my area is easily affording them, though.
    Most schools will give a lunch or canteen voucher to any child who is without food, I understand we all have our pride but I wish he would ask what the school can offer, nobody wants to see kids absent without good reason.

    Thanks for helping, EC. He will remember that forever

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    1. kylie: I wondered whether he had approached the school but of course couldn't burst in to his private conversation. Eavesdropping on it was bad enough.

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    2. Yes and people need their pride

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    3. kylie: They do. Which too many forget.

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  30. You did a good thing, EC, and I send you a hug. Here, we simply need for a few idiots to resign, or be indicted.

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    1. Bill: Thank you. We have our own idiots I would like to resign. Good luck to both of us (and our countries).

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  31. Jacqueline would be proud of you. I am proud of you. It takes a special kind of person to do something like that without being prompted or asked. Just to know that a fellow human being was in pain, and doing what you could to help. Thank you for showing us all how to be a good member of the human race. We should focus on folks like you instead of all the pain and darkness on the news.

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    1. Carolyn McBride: He was in very real pain and I would love to have been able to do more. Including suggesting he talk to the school. Thank you.

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  32. It’s everywhere. It makes me sad too. Sometimes we have an opportunity to help but sometimes it’s not an option.

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    1. Rick Watson: It is indeed everywhere, which leads me to think it needs a community wide rather than an individual response.

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  33. Oh your random act of kindness will give that man heart and possibly he'll find a way...

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    1. Jo: I hope so. Since we shared part of a bus trip I have been thinking of him and his family and other people in similar situations.

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  34. Hi EC - how very sad ... and yes you're right life is getting much more difficult for so many; yet 'that demand' unfortunately is indicative of this era ... we expect so much and think we are entitled to it; I certainly hope your chap can sort his family and life out ... good for you for that generous gesture. Thoughtfulness is great to read about - cheers and all the best Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: I think that the lack of money for uniforms/lunch box was merely the tip of the ice berg for this poor family and hope he found a way to access some more comprehensive support.

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  35. That was very kind of you to help him. I hope that the child gets the lunchbox. And you are all too right about the gap that is growing. In the US it sometimes seems that the haves would like the have nots to just die so they don't have to see them.

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    1. Lisa: The have nots are inconvenient aren't they? Unless they are providing a service that the haves want and can underpay for.

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  36. That's so sad but that was so nice of you to help him out.

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    1. Mary Kirkland: He (and too many families like his) need a lot more support than one donation. I hope they find it.

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  37. Sad that so much is needed for school. You are an awesome person and an inspiration to me.

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    1. Mason Canyon: It is particularly sad if this school is, as I suspect, one of our public schools. Education should be a right.

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  38. You made my day EC. What a lovely thing to do, for both him and for you. My brother in law, a teacher, would quietly bring in breakfasts for his poorer 8 yo students and call them out to the cloakroom at 10 am for "special lessons" and hand them sandwiches. No fanfare, no public shaming. He was so humble about it too.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. Wisewebwoman: What a lovely thing your brother in law did. Day after day, rather than a one off token gesture. A true teacher (and he fits the bill) is a treasure.

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    1. Lady Fi: It is. And he isn't alone, which is even sadder.

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  40. I just remembered a story a friend tells. She was the daughter of a single mum with several kids and not much money. My friend passed a milk bar on the way to school each day and the owner would "sell" lunch to her every day. It was 20 cents for a sandwich , fruit and milk. Exceptional value even in the eighties!

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    1. kylie: That is a truly lovely story. Hooray for compassionate shop keepers, who did good and allowed your friend to retain some pride.

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  41. Its so sad. And you have a big heart. Wish there was more we all could do.

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    1. Romance Book Haven: There are so many similiar issues and yes, I also wish there was more I can do.

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  42. Poor guy, there are people in the UK needing to use food banks more and more, children are going without food all day excepty for whatever the school provides for dinner which is free, for the moment. Your kindness will have helpoed him as much as the money, such actions lift us when at our lowest. Xx

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    1. Starshine Twinkletoes: I hope so. I remember how I floated on air for a few days (and still smile remembering) after a perfect stranger gave me flowers.

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  43. *Agree* with Starshine above that your very sweet actions will stay with him so much longer that the immediate assistance you provided. Maybe one day in the future, when his situation is hopefully better, he can to the same to another.

    E.C., the world is still full of good people, and *you* are most certainly one of them :)

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    1. Mark Koopmans: I hope his situation improves and he CAN pay it forward which is a concept I love.

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  44. Bless you. What you did helped bridge the gap a bit, and I guarantee, you made a difference. And made me cry.

    Have a wonderful weekend, sweet lady.

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    1. Susan: I didn't mean to make you cry and hope that I did make a difference - if only to his mood.

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  45. Oh gosh, that was heartbreaking and bless you for that money gift. Not only would it have helped to put extra into his pocket for his little girl, but it would give him hope that there are kind people out there. I hope his circumstances will turn for the better very soon, and when he is in better circumstances, he will return the kindness to someone else in need. So many out there in the same boat sad to say.

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    1. Denise inVA: TOO many in that same crowded, leaky boat. Which hurts my head and my heart.

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  46. I am so glad you were on that bus and overheard that conversation. You are so kind to give him the much needed $20. So heartbreaking to hear about those circumstances. I am sure the ray of sunshine your spilled onto his life will make him feel a bit more hopeful and good things will be on their way to him. Helping when we can is SO important. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~Jess: I am glad I heard it too, but I do hope that he finds some ongoing support.

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  47. So much said in one small conversation. So glad you were there to help a little bit.
    And so sad that it is such a necessity!

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    1. Diane Tolley: It is equally sad that his family is one of many.

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  48. I had hoped this wasn't as pervasive throughout Western civilization, but I am unfortunately wrong.

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    1. jono: It makes me sad and it makes me angry. How I loathe and detest the politicians and economists who talk about trickle down effects - and siphon off the cash before it has a chance to 'trickle'.

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  49. Bless you my noble friend 🌟

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  50. I too worry about the shift in society. Too many people are in need. Angels come in many ways and you were his angel that day.

    Bless you for your kindness!

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    1. Truedessa: So many people in need, world-wide. Which makes my head and my heart hurt.

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  51. I'm so happy to know you. I knew that's something you'd do. LOVE you!

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  52. you are a good human. there isn't much we can do as individuals, except provide bandaids. but bandaids help healing, and it's better than doing nothing... <3

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    1. daisyfae: Thank you. How I wish I had a store of bigger bandaids.

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  53. That conversation had to be hard to hear by you, and hard for him to convey, and I can just imagine the sadness his daughter felt. Thank goodness you were there to prove that even in those dark moments there can be a bright beacon of light, allowing us the strength to keep going. I'm sending you some HUGE hugs of appreciation. RO

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    1. RO: I am not sure whether that would have been a harder phone call to make or to receive. My heart ached for both of them. I do hope that more help flows to them and all those who need it. Thank you. Hug received and reciprocated.

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  54. I see it with my students too, and do what I can, when I can, without it seeming unfair to others. Good for you! I'm sure he was ever grateful.

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  55. Dear Sue...this brought a lump to my throat - and a tear to my eye. That poor man...and your kindness. Really revives my faith in humanity, you beautiful caring Soul.😊😊

    All my love and hugs xxx

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    1. Ygraine: Thank you. Days later I am still thinking of him, his family and the too many other people in similar situations.
      I hope your healing is going well. Hugs.

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  56. I was so naive to think that we have this only in America since so much is wrong here, and I am saddened to see that it seems no different in Australia (and most probably many other First World countries as well). Thank you for your kindness.

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    1. Carola Bartz: I think it is rapidly becoming endemic in First World Countries. And I grieve.

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  57. You are such a wonderful person! The world has become a very sad place indeed. Hugs to you.

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    1. River Fairchild: Very, very sad. Obscenely so. Hugs received and reciprocated.

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  58. This is so sad and so disturbing!!!! Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow: It is isn't it? And this family is sadly not alone.

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  59. This is so sad, and seems to be happening world-wide!
    Unfortunately the gap between the haves and the have nots is growing in our supposedly first world society, and it is worrying.

    The use of food banks here in the UK has grown and grown and I regularly donate items that can help families (and others) who are needy.

    I applaud your assistance.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team membr ~Jan: I take in food to be included in the 'weekend packs' for the homeless on my way to do my Lifeline shift. And the numbers of people at the Early Morning Centre is growing eponentially.
      Thank you for your contributions to food banks.

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  60. Beautiful skies, what prefection. And the birds, wow, lovely.

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    1. Bob Bushell: I am going to take this as a comment on the next post - and say thank you. Very much.

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  61. A very touching tale. The world is not organised very well, but it could be worse.

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    1. Andrew R. Scott: It could indeed be worse but I firmly believe that it also could and should be better.

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  62. We have the skills and the money in this world to make life better, sadly not as many like you, EC

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    1. Gillie: Lovely to hear from you again. I hope life is treating you well? There are lots of good people about, many doing much more than I can. They don't make the news often though.

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