We all have a routine. We all wake up with some sort of idea of what we are going to be doing that day.
On Tuesday nights on campus we make sandwiches. On average they are peanut butter and jelly that go into a bag that has been decorated with pretty designs. We call this weekly act Lesley Delivers. Every Tuesday, (pretty much) I go out with my fellow classmates and give out sandwiches to the homeless. It’s something I look forward to and really enjoy doing. It’s a very active way of helping people. For the most part, we normally only interact with each other, and the people we are serving. Very rarely do we interact with random bystanders going about their day. We head out to Harvard square in Cambridge at around 10 at night so the streets are normally pretty dead. Normally.
This past Tuesday we were expecting a big snowstorm. It was cold out and the streets were more packed with bystanders then I was use to. I found myself bumping into people on our route and surprised at how many people there were. One this particular route, we stop at the Harvard T stop. There are usually people there and we stand there for a bit and talk to them. We ask if they want a sandwich or any of the other items we had with us: hats, a blanket, or hand warmers. As we stood there, a man walked through us, sort of shoving us out of the way. While he did this he said “What is this the standing around committee”
I really want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. I want to think he was just having a bad day, he wanted to get home and was just tying to get to the train.
I want to believe that he was just having a bad day and his comment just came out of frustration of the day and not directed at us. I really want to believe all that.
But the thing is, for whatever reason he said it. That we were the standing around committee. That a bunch of young college students who were feeding the homeless, were just standing around in the cold for fun. We were helping. We were serving. We were helping people. He was not.
I don’t want this to come off like we are all that matters or something. I don’t want this is even come off like it was even that big of a deal. He just looked at what was going on, a made a judgment about what he saw that was not accurate at all. He was just trying to get home, and we were just trying to help people. I’m sure he got home, and I’m even surer that even though we didn’t give out many sandwiches that night, we helped
I know that every Tuesday we will continue our service in helping. I also know that there will be people there and might be wondering what we are doing. My hope is that the people we encounter see the good we are doing and not just as "standing around".