Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"When You Help Others, You Can't Help Helping Yourself!"

There's a great song from Avenue Q called "The Money Song". The gist of the song is this:

"When you help others, you can't help helping yourself!" And the puppets find great joy giving to others. One of the characters is homeless--and he gives his money towards a worthy cause, and the audience hears this magical piano underscore his new found joy in sharing with others.

This is Giver. (changed name obviously)

I told you yesterday about how he lost his job and how he's staying at the shelter.

I mentioned that he walks and busses miles on end to get the best priced drinks and ice to sell at different job sites.

He is working hard every day, and he's saving every penny, hoping his little drink vending business will grow.

This afternoon, he came in with a big smile. I asked him about his day.

He told me that a couple of the younger boys at the shelter have been watching him work--and they're inspired. So he's taking them under his wing. He was so excited as he talked about how he's going to help one guy get proper identification and get his own vendor's license and how he's going to teach him how to keep a ledger. And he's going to help the other guy get proper clothes and shoes. (His own shirt has a hole in the back.) He talked about how he knows different companies that might not hire him, since he's older--but he wants to help these boys become eligible for work because they're young enough to take on these other jobs.

He was glowing. Not only is this homeless man working hard every day to build his own business, but he's now started mentoring other young guys at the homeless shelter.

He said that all he asks for in return is that they stay away from the drugs.

I wish I had words to describe the joy he took as he described mentoring these young men.

There's nothing so powerful as a story of hope playing out in front of you. This is a man in similar circumstances--who is showing the other folks at the shelter that they can be happy and successful even in poverty.

I am so grateful to know him.

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