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  • Pride

    2011 - 01.07

    Back in the early 1990’s many of the people who waited for me to arrive with food were a bit older; 35ish to 80. Most of them were men, some elderly women, a lot of them were veterans. There was a young man who showed up one day, he was around 20ish and very angry. He was big, mean, and wore gang colors.  He stood to the side of the line screaming at me, calling me names. He screamed “these people don’t need your food bitch, they need a fucking job! Can you get them a fucking job?” He scared me a bit and he terrified the folks standing in line. On the third day I was so angry that I slammed down the back of my van and marched my 4 foot 11 inch self over to him…I looked up and up and said “I get it, you’re mad. But it is not OK to be mad at me… I am here to help. I don’t think I am better… I think we are all the same. You are scaring the people and they want me here. If you can’t do anything positive and useful, go away.” I marched back to my van, shaking, and finished handing out the food. He stopped yelling.

    The next day I didn’t see him and I began handing out the lunches in peace. I had handed out 100 or so and looked up as I was handing the next one… The angry young man took the lunch from me. He shoved the lunch into his zipped up coat, stood there for a minute and then asked me, “do you need help?”… I looked at him for a moment, nodded my head and said “Yes I do”… He taught me how to let go of pride…

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