The Bum

A bum changed some of my thinking about how people treat each other. A few years ago I was in the upper haight, going to dinner with a some friends that were a romantic couple. While walking, one of the couple was being very sarcastic and a little rude to the other. Nothing big but you could here the sharpness in her voice. I felt bad for the guy, because he probably got this all the time from her.

The girl, still kind of grilling the guy, stops mid block, and turns to a bum that was on the sidewalk, sitting against a wall. This guy was a long term drunk style homeless guy. She smiles all pretty and caring and starts asking if he is ok. She gives him some money and asks him to take care of himself. We continue walking

I have remembered this moment. I wondered why this girl would treat someone she supposedly liked with disdain but would treat someone meaningless to her with such kindness. That seems out of whack.

I have shared this story with my wife. I mentioned how important I thought it was that we remember how much we mean to each other. That should be the baseline for how we treat each other.

The key is this guy, what was the type of girl he was attracting to himself. So the story isn't really about her, it's about him and what he would accept. I would have kicked that girl to the curb that night. I'm sorry, you are not treating me as if I am lower than the bum on the street? I lost track of that guy. Hope he didn't marry her or something.


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