Ok, first I need to clarify a couple of things:
- I was in my early 20’s. (aka: a wee bit naive. The world was still a beautiful rainbow)
- I decided to drive him in my car…. alone.
Does that give you some solid background? Good. Let’s carry on then.
Helt-lef, the German man (I take full credit for my horrid German spelling), would come to our condo complex weekly to dig for cans out of the garbage. Having just come back from spending two months in Germany, I was thrilled to have met Helt-lef to practice my pathetic version of his language. I would give him cans from our balcony and he would put up with my awkward timing of words. (like handing him the cans and saying; “Vassameloni” – to interpret for my German friends, that spells “watermelon” in German) What “watermelon” and “cans” have to do with one another is beyond me…
One day I was driving down our street and saw Helt-lef walking with his large bag of cans. Moved with innocent compassion, I offered him a ride. No sooner had he gotten into my car, his hand was on my leg and his tongue attempting to reach my face.
YIKES!!! I was beyond scared. My rainbow world was not so rainbow-y. I pulled over, got out of the car and told him in my best German to get out. Ok, maybe I said something more like, *“Ich leibe dich”, but I was truly attempting to say; “Get out!”
He finally got out of my car and I left him there on the side of the road. After my rainbow-crushing experience, I became hesitant of ever helping another one in need again.
For any of you who read my blog yesterday on getting out of your comfort zone to actually TALK to one such as this have now just had the fear knocked right back into you. “I knew it! All my pre-conceived ideas were RIGHT!”
Before you hit the panic button, let me tell you why I wrote this blog. We as women do need a tad bit of wisdom when it comes to how we share our compassion. There’s just somethings we cannot and should not do; for example, giving a strange man a ride. Don’t let your heart of compassion be ruined by foolish thinking.
Here’s what you CAN do as a woman;
- talk to someone in a public place (the kind of public place where there’s public, around, at that very moment)
- volunteer at a shelter
- carry a homeless care package in your vehicle you can hand to a squeegie man out the window. (or just simple bottles of water, granola bars…)
- gather other women to brainstorm all sorts of creative ways to give!
- make home-made items you can give
- invite someone into your home for dinner (but have your hubby drive them back)
There’s a world out there for us to touch if we can get over our fear…. we just need to add a dash of wisdom to our compassion.
*ich liebe dich: I love you in German