I write for this financial blog, and it is what I love to do. I have a passion for finance, and a passion for helping people, so this is the perfect melding of the two. But it is so easy to get lost in all of this, and become self-focused, dare I say it: self-centered. I’m not pointing any fingers because I know there will be three more pointing back at me.
In many regards, it is great to watch out for yourself, but we must ensure that we do not become blind to the needs of the people around us. This post isn’t written out of self-gratification, but to demonstrate that personal finance doesn’t have to be exclusively “personal.” We should strive to ensure that our skills and talents create a surplus that we can use to help others.
The 7 Dollar Story
Tonight, I went to CVS and there was a teenage girl sitting by herself on the ground. It’s nothing that I haven’t seen before, and it’s a situation that I’ve walked past hundreds of times. On my way out though, I looked down and the girl had a different demeanor to how she was sitting.
She was hugging her knees and had her head rested as though that was where she was going to sleep for the night. It didn’t look correct to me and I asked her “are you hungry?” She looked up, and she couldn’t have been older than 18, and with all honesty, no modesty, she replied “yes, I am.”
I was in front of a CVS, and there is little in the way of real food, so I asked what she liked to drink and she replied “anything is fine.” To which I asked “what do you enjoy drinking?” And quickly she said “Mountain Dew.” I headed into the store with a short shopping list:
- Mountain Dew
- Something filling
- Something hot
I returned with a Mountain Dew, a box of Strawberry Pop-tarts, and a Bowl-Appetite meal and I told her: “I know this isn’t the healthiest meal but it should keep you from being hungry for a while. Take the Bowl-Appetite to a 7-Eleven, put some water in it, and place it in the microwave. It’ll be a hot meal for you.”
The 7 Dollar Experience
All of that didn’t cost much more than 7 dollars, but with the smile on her face you would have thought I handed her a winning lotto ticket. I gave her a hug, and let her know that God loves her, and God’s people will watch out for her, and a look of re-assurance came across her face.
I could have done a lot of things with that 7 Dollars, but none of it would have made a bigger difference in anyone’s life than the way it was spent tonight. Please, look out for yourself, your family, and the ones you love, but don’t forget that there is a whole world out there that just needs a little love, attention, and affection.
Don’t rob yourself of the humbling and endearing experience that I had tonight. Reach out a loving hand to someone in need, and I will guarantee that it will be an investment that you won’t regret. Not all dividends can be calculated in dollars and cents. We, who are knowledgeable about finances, should make sure that we consider the less fortunate.
If you walk away from this post with anything, I hope it is an inspiration to go out and do some good, because it really is amazing how valuable another person’s smile really is.