Recently, just as I was leaving the mall, I was approached by a young girl standing near the food court.
She signaled she was hungry.
I could tell she wanted me to give her money or buy her food.
However, when you live in a third world country like I currently do, you get approached so often, that you really have to develop an intuition about who you can give to — because you just can’t help everyone, even if you’d like to.
Initially, I was going to ignore her because it was getting late in the evening and I wanted to get home.
I started to walk away…
But something told me to go and talk to her.
So, I walked over to her and began asking her some questions.
I soon discovered she was 14 years old and that she was living (and sleeping) on the street.
She told me her parents were on drugs and she didn’t want to live with them anymore, so she and her friend were basically spent their days begging.
In a split moment, I decided I’d take both of them to dinner.
I felt compassion for them, and I wanted to talk to them and find out more about their lives and the challenges they were facing.
I picked a sit down Italian pizza place that was still open so we’d have time to talk.
The look on their faces was priceless.
They told me no one had ever taken them to a restaurant before.
There was smiling so big and they were so excited, you’d have thought I was taking them to Disneyland.
I ordered a couple pizza’s and when the food arrived, I took a couple slices and told them they could have the rest.
It was clear that they were really hungry.
They started devouring the pizza.
I assured them they could the leftover with them and we packed them each a take-out box when they realized they couldn’t possibly eat everything right then.
We spent about 30 mins talking.
With me asking questions and trying to find out more about their situation, and also giving them a pep talking when I found out they weren’t going to school.
I was surprised when I asked for the bill.
The waiter returned with the slip and mints and said:
“Ma’am your bill has been taken care of.”
I was quite taken aback and wondered if the pizza place had overheard my conversation with the girls and decided to comp our meal…
But, I was confused for only a few seconds until I looked over to the table next to us, and the woman sitting at the table next to us with her partner, were just finishing paying their bill, and she look up at me, smiled, and said:
“I hope you don’t mind.”
I was so surprised and overwhelmed all at one.
I smiled back, and we shared a moment of acknowledging one another.
The girls and I thanked her.
It almost felt like in a scene from a movie.
I felt really emotional for a few moments.
Not because I couldn’t easily pay for the meal, but because someone else had also noticed an opportunity to give, and taken it.
One act of kindness had spiraled into another, and we were all positively impacted by each other’s actions.
And I was glad that I had trusted my intuition and taken the time and effort to acknowledge these two young people, and the events that transpired were so inspiring to me.
As I walked away from the restaurant, after we all parted ways, I recalled a part from Tony Robbins new book, Money Master The Game that I’d been reading.
Tony talked about how his experiences growing up hungry, influenced him to give back so much and how he had become so passionate about feeding hungry families.
And then he shares a quote by Margaret Thatcher that really hit home:
“No one would have remembered the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well.”
And the experiences I had had that evening were a great reminder and motivator to keep working hard and smart and building my business.
Because while I am driven to create a great life for myself and my family, it’s my responsibility to help those around me as well, even if it’s in small ways.
“He who gives money — gives much
He who gives of his time — gives more.
He who gives of himself — gives all.”
~ Thomas Monson