Last week something happened that genuinely moved me. Something happened that made me nervous, made me smile, made me tear up, and above all, made me feel good.
I was walking through the streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina and passed a man playing music on a little Casio keyboard. I didn’t think anything of it and chalked it up to just another homeless person peddling for cash. We passed by and walked into a nearby restaurant to have dinner.
Almost immediately, as cliche as it sounds, an indescribable feeling came over me. I thought to myself that it seemed shitty that we were waiting for our named to be called at an upscale restaurant, while this man sat outside on the curb playing music to earn a few bucks. I gained a little perspective, told my wife that I’d be right back, and went back outside to talk to the man.
His name was John Middleton. I learned this after I handed him a $100 bill.
Why did I give John $100? Because it felt good. It felt right. And sometimes, that’s all that matters. It felt good to be in a position to contribute. It felt good to shake his hand – to learn his story – to exchange a couple laughs. To even share a couple tears.
I shook John’s hand, wrote down my contact information for him, and said goodbye. As I walked away, my heart was full and my eyes were open in a way that is often lost in the day to day hustle and grind.
I’ve said before that “The best thing you can do with your time here on earth is to contribute, in even the smallest way, to something bigger than yourself.”
Think about where you’d be right now if you listened to yourself. If you ignore doubt and fear and do whatever feels good and whatever feels right.
Maybe you’ll meet more awesome folks like John Middleton. Maybe you’ll change someone else’s life. Maybe you’ll change your own.