When Small Acts Are Just That: Small


This post is crafted using ChatGPT 4. No, it is not prompt; generate, copy, paste. It results from topical conversations with the AI, in this case, about giving a candy bar to a homeless man and finding $20.00 about half an hour later. I fix each paragraph one by one by prompting, reprompting, and further conversation. The AI does write so much better, and this actually is more work; I love the results and feel it is worth the effort.

When Small Acts Are Just That: Small

Yesterday, a man asked me for food outside the grocery store where I shop. Wrapped in a blanket, he stood in the busy parking lot as an emblem of need. His voice barely rose above the din, simply requesting something to eat. I handed him the only thing I had—a candy bar. His eyes did not meet mine as I mumbled an excuse about being unable to do more. Instead, they shifted, scanning the lot for the next potential helper.

I found $20 on my way home, a stark contrast to the man who might view such a find as a lifeline. It’s another addition to my budget, perhaps covering a fast-food meal I’ll forget by tomorrow. But for him, it could mean a day’s sustenance, which may be shared with others under the same harsh sky.

This moment has stayed with me, not because I believe my small giving was heroic, but precisely because it was not. It was a mere drop in an ocean of need, a fleeting comfort in the face of a much larger despair. The reality is harsh; small acts, while kind, are often just that—small.

We exist in a world where the divide between having and needing grows daily. Those of us who’ve teetered on the edge of that divide know the fear all too well. Yet, the more insulated one is by wealth and comfort, the less visible this struggle becomes. Why is it that the closer one is to hardship, the more palpable the empathy?

I am not advocating for a life of austerity for all. But I am urging us to consider the impact of our actions—or inactions. The problem of homelessness is vast and complex, and while no one person can solve it, together, we can certainly make a more significant impact.

As we navigate our daily lives, let’s aim for more than temporary fixes. Imagine a society where no one is left hungry, where sharing meals becomes a common act of community and love more than meeting desperate needs. In this world, compassion and cooperation drive us to ensure that everyone has enough. This vision isn’t just hopeful; it’s a call to action for all of us to work together towards a more inclusive and caring world.


I really do have mixed feelings about this instant karma-like experience. On the one hand, I wanted to boast to everyone I know about how good the universe is to ME. F*ck me, I quickly lost sight of the hungry man. I remember being homeless and having a good day once in a while, like finding 20 bucks and feeding a couple of other people I know. I would have bragged just as hard if I had found a single dollar bill instead of a twenty! The AI suggested I was feeling survivor’s guilt. I learned a lot in the nearly two hours it took to create this post; I love my AI chats. ♥

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