Consumption and Compassion

Consume is one of those words I had to look up and I guess it seems so weird because I always seem to equate it with “using up” but it also means “buy” which doesn’t seem to fit when you think of it in terms of “using up”. Buying means gaining something, or at least when you go shopping the day after Christmas, I’m assuming that’s what it means. I guess it could also be food which is consumed, but… I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem to fit, is all.

Regardless, I thought I would stick with what Linda prompted us with before she gave us the actual word because I was actually one of those crazy shoppers out in the malls yesterday. It wasn’t my idea. I would have never picked that day to take my daughter shopping for Christmas, but she wanted to go and I wasn’t about to pass up a day with her.

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We hit two different malls, I can’t even remember how many different stores and ended the day with food and walking into our favorite store, The Dancing Crane. I call it my hippie store. They sell incense and stones and wind chimes. I don’t know what it is about that store, but it is so peaceful. It was a nice end to a day filled with the crazy energy you feel around people shopping sales. We hardly ever buy anything from the store; it’s almost like we just walk in there to find our inner peace. I found these two gems and should have bought one or both of them to hang on the walls in my home, but I settled for pictures. I’m kicking myself for not buying them, though. I might just go back next week sometime to pick one up.

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One of the most memorable parts of the day for me was when we were at dinner. There were a few places Adelle wanted to go because they don’t have them in North Carolina and Zupa’s was one of them. It is a soup, salad and sandwich restaurant and it’s one of our favorite places to go together. We both consumed our dinner rather quickly since we were both starving. We probably should have eaten before then, and would have if there had been a Zupa’s anywhere near the mall we were at, but there wasn’t so we waited until we could find one.

While we were finishing up, Adelle asked, “Do they put the soup in to-go cups?”

“Yes,” I said. “Why, are you planning on getting some to take with you?” I smiled thinking she loved it so much she wanted to take some to eat later.

She smiled too, but all she said was, “Yes.”

We finished up and I was about to walk out when she jumped back in line. I said, “Oh, I forgot you were getting some to go.”

“Yeah, I’m going to give it to that homeless man out on the street.” She said it so off-hand, like it was just a normal thing to do. I’ve felt proud of my daughter in the past and I know she is a giving, loving person, but in that moment, I had so much respect for her. I work by that particular Zupa’s and go there almost once a week and there is always someone on the street with a sign. I see them every day, but I can tell you I have never thought of giving them anything.

She finished paying and asked me to get a spoon and some napkins then we made our way outside. I was a little worried the guy would be upset – I’ve seen some homeless people be upset when they were given something other than money –Β  but when she walked up to him she handed him the bag and said, “I got you some tomato basil soup and here’s five dollars too,” as she handed him the rest of the money she had.”

He looked a little shocked, but grateful as he took what she offered and said, “Thank you so much.” I was still a little skeptical and kept watching him as we went to get in our car and drive away. I was just waiting for him to toss the food, but he didn’t. I watched as his cold, red hands wrapped around the soup and reached in the bag for the spoon.

The only thing Adelle said after we walked away was, “I knew I needed that ten dollars for something today.”

I’m not sure that one moment will change my views on giving money to homeless people on corners, but it did make me think. It made me think about them in a different way and it made me wonder about that particular guy on the corner. Maybe that’s why I don’t do it. It makes me sad to wonder what happened to them and why they are out in the cold. It also made me see my daughter in a new way. She really is such a beautiful spirit, an old soul. I’m blessed she is in my life.

I hope you enjoyed my story of how my daughter turned our day of consumption into a day of compassion and giving; brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted once again by Linda G Hill. I hope you all have a blessed day!

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11 thoughts on “Consumption and Compassion

  1. That was truly special. So happy that you had the opportunity to spend time with your sweet daughter. How special that must have been to see your daughter do something so wonderful as she gave to the homeless person. We are surprised at times to see just how wonderful our children are. Love you sweet girl!!

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  2. Pingback: SHOWCASE — This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time | The Rattling Bones

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