So as I'm riding home on the Iron Horse this past Sunday night, I see this middle-aged man sitting in a corner seat. He shivers every time the train doors open as the cold winter draft enters the car. Upon further inspection, I notice that he's wearing orange "chinese slippers" (for a lack of a better term) with no socks. His ankles are exposed and his skin ashen white. He's wearing a tattered coat and has his hands tucked inside his coat for warmth.
This is the worst time of year to be down on your luck. In reality, any time of the year is a hard time be down on your luck. But in my opinion, Christmas is really bad. We (hopefully) all have good memories from our childhoods during Christmas. So to have nothing while watching people walk around with bags of gifts can really be demoralizing. But I digress.
So, I remember that I have an extra pair of gloves that I found in the bar in my bag. I stand and offer him the gloves. He politely refuses them. I note a look of pride in him as he says no to my repeated offer for the gloves which I believe, no I know, that he could have used. I often say that pride does not pay the rent and in this occasion pride does not keep your hands warm. I respected his decision to not take the gloves by not asking him again and sitting down at my seat.
As I arrive at my station, I catch a quick glance at the man. He's awake, aware and shivering. Man, I wish he could have taken the gloves. Pride definitely does not keep you warm, I hope he has another way of doing so. Merry Christmas.
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