The Art of Giving

detail of hand-painted wool flannel


I saw a young woman on the street.

She sat there on the ground outside Starbucks with a sign: HOMELESS. ANYTHING HELPS.

There are so many scammers around these days that my first instinct was to dismiss her.

I at least said hello, reached around her to buy a paper from the box and asked if she was warm enough.

We actually had a great conversation.

She told me about these cool hand warmers she had that were hidden in her pockets. “Yes.” she said. She was ok.

I went in, ordered my drink and thought I’d get her one too but then thought better of it.

I cruised over to my table and looked at people, read the paper and settled into musing.

There she was.. out there beyond the window. I could still see her. I watched for a disingenuous look of fakery. But it wasn’t there.

She looked cold but resigned. Almost at peace but with the stain of humiliation.

Is she an impostor?

Does she REALLY need?

I stopped my mind for a moment and felt into my heart.

My initial urge was to help her.

I decided to go with that.

I rolled out and stopped in front of her saying: “I was going to get you something to eat but decided you’d probably like cash instead.”

She smiled and bestowed a blessing and I left.

I felt light.


Right in myself.

I realized it didn’t matter if she was an impostor because I had followed my true inner prompting which came from compassion and not from guilt.

The gift was for me.

Not so much for her.

I rolled on….


6 Responses to “The Art of Giving”

  1. Pam on March 28th, 2015

    I love this Cathy.

  2. Jenny on March 28th, 2015

    I do too. Xx

  3. Barbara on March 29th, 2015

    I love the person that you are…you make me smile, you make me think and feel and sometimes sad…but always grateful that there are people like you in this world X

  4. Barbara McDaniel on March 29th, 2015

    xxoo – what she said (barbara!)

  5. judith on March 30th, 2015

    Just lovely, Cathy. Whatever her intent, yours came from the heart, and that’s what matters.

  6. Mel Vaz on April 15th, 2015

    My gosh, I had a very similar experience this year. Wow….I walk by them all the time but when I feel it in my heart is when I give. And I love how you reveal the gift is for you….exactly how I feel. 🙂

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