there’s one born every minute


I’m three days early. I know.


So, this evening, as I left work, I was abruptly and unexpectedly stopped on the street .

“Do you work around here? Do you work in one of those buildings?” the gentleman asked as he pointed to the intersection of Portage and Main.

“Yes”, I said. “That one”.

“Oh, well I thought you might. Do you think you could help me?”

His mannerisms were genuine, he was dressed like any other person you’d see and he looked me in my eyes as he spoke. Truth be told, regardless of any of that, I said, “I’ll try”.

He told me his story of how he wasn’t from Winnipeg, his keys locked in the truck and that he was trying to get his wife to Concordia Hospital. He needed to hail a wheelchair accessible taxicab to get them both there. And so, the help he was asking me for was to “loan” him the money for the cab.

I immediately thought about how I met this fellow; I thought about how I had meant to leave work earlier but something unplanned came up and required me to stay there; I thought about how he’d apologized for interrupting me listening to my music; I thought about how there could have been any number of eight second deviations in my day that would have resulted in me not meeting him; and, I thought about how I had the money in my wallet.

I didn’t ask him where his truck was or if I could meet his wife. I didn’t ask him why he didn’t have the money or why he couldn’t go to a bank machine. I just started to pull out my wallet. There was a reason this man needed to ask me for money. Maybe it was because he really needed help or maybe it was because I looked like an easy target? Or, maybe when he asked for my card and took down my particulars, he was really, actually going to repay the “loan”?

Fully cognizant that I may be flushing the money down the proverbial toilet, I put the cash in his hand. I put it in his hand and accepted his thanks and the kind words he offered.

As I left him and proceeded in the original direction I was headed, I didn’t look back. I didn’t need to. It didn’t matter. Did I feel like I was just taken? Absolutely. But, as I had listened to his story and how there were any number of holes I could have poked in it, I’d already decided I was going to commit to this no matter how spotty it sounded. If he needed to compromise his moral integrity to get my money, then he needed it more than I did. I could choose to take this for what it was on the surface; me doing something that was probably a dumb move, or I could approach at it as amazing learning experience I chose to have.

As I recount what happened this evening, even to this moment, I can’t help but think about how positively impactful it was. I really mean that. I know I sound crazy, and I still feel kinda cheated, but what an amazing experience.

Amazing because, basically, the Universe just gave me more opportunities, in one brief moment, to open my Heart and trust it, than I can probably even realize.

It gave me the opportunity to be completely defenceless to this man that potentially just ripped me off because, for whatever real reason to him, he needed to do it.

It gave me the opportunity, regardless of what the money was used for, to help someone that thought they needed help.

It gave me the opportunity to think about how I really just actually gave that money to myself; and, to you; and, to everyone else because we’re all connected. We’re all from the same place and we’re all eventually going back to the same place.

It gave me the opportunity to forgive this man for possibly taking advantage of my generosity.

It gave me the opportunity to show gratitude toward this man for possibly taking advantage of my generosity.

It gave me the opportunity to create a wealth of introspection and thought.

It gave me the opportunity for vulnerability and to put my “intelligence” on the line by sharing this story.

It gave me the opportunity to forgive myself. To let myself off the hook for knowing I could most plausibly be making a bad decision, for being trusting or open Hearted or just a plain idiot because of the fact that I knew full well what I was doing but did it anyway. The only person that could be hurt by what I did, was me. And, only if I chose it to be that way.

And finally, most importantly, the Universe gave me the opportunity to let go. To let go of this man’s motives; to let go of if I was cheated or not; to let go of feeling stupid and, ultimately, to let go of the guilt.

When you let go of guilt, your grasp on Love gets tighter.

I’m not a rich person by any stretch. But, will my “loan” really impact me? No. I’m not shaving any days off to retirement had I kept it in my wallet. But, I think about what it cost me to, for maybe only a brief moment, “let go” of being stuck of where most of us are stuck, most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel a bit of a sting; it’s only a few hours old. But, that’s really just my ego and my pride trying to voice their displeasure because my true self just separated a little bit more from them. There’s this greater outspoken voice, although it’s more gentle in its tone, that I’m experiencing, telling me that I just stepped a tiny bit closer to transcending what my brain wants me to believe and entering where my Heart wants me to be.

And, that’s what it’s really all about.

Be Love.


Don’t tell my dad I gave money to a stranger.


Comments ( 5 )

  1. Replygreen-moonlight

    Be careful next time as I think I have mentioned to you that this time you just lost money and next time you may be hurt. I don't want you to get hurt because of what you chose to believe and to help or even to love. This is not a perfect world, back home we say "never hurt others, but also watch out to not be hurt". Thus, watch out next time. You are too nice and full with true love. Love will guide you so next time if you doubt for even one second, don't fall in anyone's trap! Be bright!

  2. ReplyJennifer

    From the heart - there is no such thing as "too nice". I have never regretted being kind - even when that means I was perhaps taken advantage of......even if the result was me being hurt. Every interaction is an opportunity for growth on both parts....

  3. ReplyLynda

    Glad to see that we were not the only ones that fell fo the same story from the same man. He caught us in January when we were in Winnipeg for a Vigil for Colten Pratt, who is still missing. He caught us coming out of our hotel with the exact same story...and we too chose to help. Same lessons learned, same feelings afterward. And have decided if it were to happen again, instead of reaching into our wallets, we'd reach for our keys and offer to drive him.... Reguardess, we all keep getting our life lessons as we need them I believe. Great writing James

  4. Replyjames jaworsky

    Thank you, all, for your contributions. It was certainnly an interesting lesson to experience, but an opportunity for growth, even if only for that moment. I agree that there is no such thing as "too nice". It's interesting how the complexion of the situation can change when you know you are being taken advantage versus not. Again, the feelings I experienced were challenging, but in the absence of my own personal path, it's brought three of you here to comment and share yours. So, thank you!

  5. ReplyJennifer

    To further share :) Mathe a decade ago- middle of winter- a man and his wife were in my parking lot as I walked to my car, about to drive to work for my evening shift. 3pm, only about -15c that day. The man explained that he had locked his keys in the car and his wife needed to get to a medical appt. Without a thought, I asked where the appt was and when he answered, I offered a ride, as it was on my way to work. Within minutes of them being in my car, I began to feel uneasy....I realized they didn't live in my building...I began to ask questions... why were they in my back parking lot if their car was across the street at a mall?! They began to ask me questions about where I worked....I bet the car ride was 10-15 mins but seriously, it felt like hours as my mind ran through all of the possibilities of what might happen. At the clinic,the woman got out of the car....the man stayed and began to plead his case for money. I was in a fearful state and angry at this point - as calmly as I could, I stated that I had given them a ride to their appt and now I had to get going for work.....he apologized and thanked me for the ride. When I got to work, everyone was calling me crazy.... "How could you do such a thing!", "You could have been kidnapped! Killed!" I doubt they had a car.... I doubt they had a medical appointment... I'm sure they were shocked that I offered them a ride even before they asked for any money..... in retrospect, I wish I hadnt entered into that fearfull state and I wish our parting hadn't been so uncomfortable and harsh..... I can't recall the details but within the week , there were news reports of a woman outside of winnipeg who was high jacking cars..... all in all, an unsettling experience..... I wonder if I were faced with that situation again, what my response would be now.....

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