Unexpected Cardboard Signs and the Gifts the Poor Can Give

“. . . ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them . . .”

– Luke 21

Today I passed a smiling dirty man holding a side on the side of the road.His sign didn’t ask for help. It just said “Be safe and enjoy life.”

I double-take when I see cardboard signs like this. It’s not asking for anything. It’s so contrary to our expectations to find a seemingly homeless person “giving” something that it’s genuinely surprising. And this guy seemed really happy to just smile and give encouragement to people.

Of course, my inner cynic says that this is a sort of panhandling tactic. It worked on me (I gave him an orange).

But I think it’s possible he just wanted to give something to his world. He seemed to keep smiling regardless of whether folks stopped to make gifts. I liked that, and I liked him as a result.

This guy was truly wealthy. He didn’t ask for anything. He found something to give. He was giving without expectation of return. He didn’t bow and scrape. Someone clearly low on the economic spectrum yet capable of showing generosity like this – that’s a position of true wealth.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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