I was riding the subway back from seeing Gary Vaynerchuk, when I saw this homeless man across from me. He was sleeping, had these shoes and socks he’d found somewhere, a walker, a hoodie and no coat, and clearly, clearly not in a good place. And remember, it’s 18F (-8C) outside right now. It’s freezing.
So I decided I wanted to give him something to help him along. I knew right away I wanted todo this. I mean, what kind of society are we, that we can let one of our own live like that, and we consider it normal? I knew exactly how much and how, too. I was going to slip him a note in his pocket while he was sleeping, on my way out. And I did.
But here’s the thing: All the while, my main fear was that someone else in the subway car were going to see it and think I was being an idiot. Like “can’t you see he’s just faking it” or somehow judging me, making me wrong, for wanting to help this man out a little.
Some folks did see me do it. I have no idea what they thought, of course. I tried to avoid eye contact. I had this fear that if I made eye contact they would think I did it to make sure they saw how holy I was, and judge me for that. Or just judge me for having done it in the first place. So I avoided eye contact.
Isn’t it crazy how much we can let the thought in our own mind of other people’s opinions of us determine what we do in our lives? It would have been way easier for me to just do nothing, and avoid the whole self-made drama altogether.
Where are you creating self-made dramas in your life?