More often than not, we tend to hang on to every nickle and dime we make. Struggling to make ends meet, we become so consumed with ourselves and the busyness of our lives that we neglect to consider the struggles others are facing themselves. As we pinch our pennies and come up with careful strategies to pay off our debts, it’s all too easy to become hardened to the needs of others.
Rather than give, we take. But something’s got to change.
Instead of rushing past this homeless man like everyone else had, these three German students decided to pause, take a moment, and brighten up his day. After singing their song, they gave the bewildered man back his bucket, along with every penny onlookers had kindly donated.
Upon seeing the man’s stunned response, it’s obvious he’s not used to that kind of generosity. What might have seemed like a small act of kindness to most must have meant the world to someone who is used to being ignored and neglected.
Random acts of kindness like this ought to inspire us to do the same. We should all work to take a few moments out of each day to make others smile. Instead of being so self-focused, we should aim to be more outward-focused. At the end of the day, money is simply that: money.
We should never waste it, but we should not put it up on a pedestal either. The students’ kindness shown in the above video is an apt reminder that giving can be far better than receiving.
It is no coincidence that the trio chose to serenade the man with this particular song either. The message, however, is clearly directed to the bystanders. In modern day society, as the song points out, we do tend to wear our headphones “like a shield.”
We put up walls that prevent us from interacting with strangers, and we miss out on the potential to make a difference in other people’s lives. Then, before we know it, just as the song explains, “another chance to change is gone.”
Closing our eyes to the harsh reality around us, we like to make believe there aren’t people in need. From the woman who just lost her army husband on duty and is expecting their third child to the man sitting on the side of the road who just lost his job and has nowhere to turn, there is no end of opportunity to make a change.
As their song pointedly states, we just need to stop averting our eyes, take a look around us, and then we’ll see the endless possibilities. After all, life is, indeed, too short to waste a chance.
Today, take a moment to notice those around you. Make it your goal to make someone smile. Whether you feel led to buy someone a hot meal or donate to a worthy cause, the act of giving is always so much more rewarding to the giver than the receiver.