We get so use to seeing what we don’t have, wanting things that other people have, sometimes pulling a tantrum because we don’t get the $45 moccasins we have to have!! After watching my daughter struggle not getting her way I jumped at the opportunity to get her out of herself and help another. We were circling a round-about & saw a man standing on the street corner playing his guitar.
I had seen him there the day before, but looked away & tried not to see him– often we look away trying to avoid the moment of judgement, the heartache, the wonder if he is honest, what he’ll do with the money, etc. We hate that part of ourselves, so it is easier to pretend it is not there.
I looked at the man playing his guitar, he was wearing a yellow t-shirt & a ratty, old straw hat. He was playing with his heart and soul. I looked at my husband & said, “let’s go by him some lunch.” My husband replied irritated, “okay, if you guys want to.” I was a little taken back that my husband seemed put out by the request, but I knew getting out of yourself and doing something nice for someone—helps everyone!!! We grabbed him a combo at Arby’s & I knew this would be an excellent opportunity for my daughter to forget about not getting what she wanted and thinking of someone else. I looked at my little girl & handed her the bag. She lit up & jumped out of the car. She ran over to the man. His face lit up & he smiled a big, child-like smile. He was so gracious & made her feel appreciated. I jumped out of the car & ran over to catch a glimpse of this old soul, this man who played with heart. I wanted to hear his voice, to see his smile, to understand his story for even a moment. He explained how he was trying to make ends meet before the snow hits & then he has a few jobs lined up. He told us how he just loves to play & it brings him such joy. You could feel and see his passion. He looked at us & with enthusiasm said, “Would you like to hear one of my songs?” I smiled “we would love it.” My daughter and I just watched as his hands began to finger the strings & his quiet voice shared a story of heartbreak, hookers and love lost. My husband was now getting out of our car to hear the song. When he was done he explained how all his songs are his personal stories. He said he writes about many of the young girls he meets who have been beaten, abused and broken. I replied, “I bet you get to see your fair share out here on the street.” He humbly agreed. He then began to strum his guitar quietly while he told us that we could see his story on Vimeo. He thanked us again & began to play. He smiled his big smile & wished us well. He began to strum and sway to the story he was about to tell.
We climbed back in our car and everything seemed better, there was a perspective of gratitude, a humility of following your heart to help someone & knowing that guidance was on purpose. I looked at my little girl, “See, everyone has a story.” She smiled.
We waved and honked at our new friend, “The General.”
On our way home I did find his story on vimeo & I shared it with my parents. Later that day they also saw the General & stopped to give a little bit of themselves. Spreading the love truly does have a ripple affect.
I want to share his story with you, so whenever you see someone in need you will think…EVERYONE has a story to tell. Hopefully we will listen & come out a little better for it. Love to you.
Here is the story of The General