I'm naming this blog series Just One. Why? It takes just one person to make a difference sometimes. Or just one smile can brighten someone's day. Or just one act of kindness, just one effort, just one thought can change everything.
So, on that note, I will share another one of my 'good intentions.' One evening last week I met up with some other well-meaning friends at the library. Since this is a popular hang-out in town for the homeless, we decided to approach some of these people and get to know them.
On a side note, I had no idea the library had such an extensive selection of magazines. Seriously, forget about subscribing to anything! Unless, of course, you're one of those people that must rip out the coupons or draw mustaches on celebrities. Then, by all means, buy a subscription and have at it.
As I scoped out my options, I noticed several gentlemen in a seating area toward the back of the library (by all those amazing magazines!). Two guys were plugged into their electronics, so I ruled them out after a bit of contemplation. I eyed an older guy who looked to be losing consciousness.
I sat down next to him and asked him how he was doing. Though a little confused to be approached by a stranger, he perked up quickly.
He wondered if I was a college student doing research at the library. When I told him I was nearly 40 and a mother of three, he was shocked and figured I was merely in my 20s.
I love this man.
Which also begs the question - do college students even go to the library for research anymore? Isn't everything you ever wanted to know online now? Eh, I digress.
Soon he was diving into a variety of topics. He wasn't homeless, he was just waiting for his wife to finish her garden club downstairs.
(Personally, I think when you'll drive your wife somewhere so she can spend time with her girlfriends and be willing to sit in boredom for two hours waiting for her, you're a gem. Did I mention I love him?)
Turns out my new friend Duane is nearly the same age as my Dad, with a similar take on life. He wasted no time sharing his political and religious beliefs. Even making me a bit uncomfortable speaking about the oil boom bringing in a lot of "undesirables" while two or three of those so-called "undesirables" sat in chairs within earshot.
I steered him off that stereotype faster than a parent snatches a falling pacifier.
I let him do most of the talking though. He seemed to prefer that. I learned he's been ranching for years and he's obviously proud of his son but not his son-in-law. (The term deadbeat may have come up.) He is no fan of Obama and little old widows are the most generous givers in church.
Yeah, we covered a lot of topics.
By the time I needed to get up to leave, he seemed genuinely disappointed that I had to go. At least I cut his boredom in half.
Truth is, I think Duane was thrilled to have someone take an interest in an old guy nodding off at the library.
And I realize I don't thrill people nearly enough.
I need to change that, because it's really quite fun.