Helene Cooper 3/27/13 A Teenage Random Act of Kindness As a teenager not many held much hope for my future. I was constantly in trouble cutting school, fighting, drinking alcohol and just had an outright horrible attitude towards anyone that attempted to set me straight. There were many reasons behind my anger that this paper doesn’t warrant going very deep into. I knew right from wrong and I also knew that I wasn’t a “bad” person.
That being said, I found myself suspended from school for 20 days after a fairly brutal fight. Being that my suspension was so long I was required to attend the Option Center in Lawrenceville for my core classes. My mornings now required me to take a bus from Mt. Washington to Downtown and another to Lawrenceville. My afternoons just worked in reverse. My father (who I hadn’t lived with since the age of three) now caring for me, gave me money to get lunch on a daily basis.
After my second day was over and I arrived Downtown, I was entering McDonald’s when I noticed an old homeless man sitting with his dog. What made him seem so different to me from the other homeless people that I had encountered was that he looked happy. This both caught my curiosity as well as confused me. A man so seemingly content with having what I thought was nothing. The third day was the same. The same the elderly man covered in dirt with his little dog with matted hair that matched his masters, sitting in the sun taking in the warmth.
As I exited McDonald’s I handed the man my lunch. He accepted it with gratuity on his face and I continued my walk to my next bus stop. After walking about a half of a block I heard a raspy voice yell “Hey! ” I turned to find the old man walking very fast after me with his dog in hand and holding the food and drink I had just given him. Being a fifteen year old girl, alone Downtown, I was a little startled to say the least. I began walking faster toward my destination when the man caught up to me.
The man, very winded at this point, had one simple question for me. “Is… this…pop…diet? ” I looked at him confused when he went on to explain that he was diabetic. At this point I felt both a little bad and silly at the same time for making this poor man run after me for such an innocent question. The pop was not, in fact, diet. He thanked me and handed it back to me. I saw this man, whose name was Charlie, every day during my suspension and every day I gave him my lunch, always making sure the pop was diet.