If you know me well enough, you would know that I have a very soft spot for people who are homeless regardless of how they became homeless.
Today, when I got out of a store an elderly homeless man approached me and asked for money to buy food. I told him that I had no cash. I truly did not think that I had any cash in my bag. I walked quickly past him towards my car. I noticed that he walked slowly with a limp. He seemed a bit disoriented and I felt dreadful that I could not help him.
I walked to my car and sat in it for a few minutes checking my phone. Suddenly I heard a knock on my window. There he was again asking me for money. “I am hungry. Please for some change to get some food.”
“I would give it to you if I had it.” I told him gently. “I don’t have any cash.”
He stood steadfastly looking at me and repeating his request. His stare and helplessness made me feel very uncomfortable. How could I walk away without helping? I started searching through all the pockets of my bag and jacket. Bingo! I got $4.00 worth of coins. I gave them to him. He gratefully accepted, thanked profusely and showered blessings upon me. It was only $4.00. I was almost ashamed of myself for giving only $4.00.
The lesson he reminded me of was PERSISTENCE. How often have I given up on an idea or something which mattered greatly to me because I was not persistent. I accepted NO too quickly. I was too tired to repeat my ask. I was afraid of being rejected. If I had been rejected a first time, chances are that I would never try again. Many times I have failed to follow up with a potential lead only because I did not get a positive response right away.
This homeless man did not accept my first no. With his limp and slow walk, he persisted and followed me to my car. He put the required effort and repeated his ask, not accepting my rejection. Eventually, he pushed me to go beyond my limits and to dig further to find the $4.00. If he was not persistent, he would not have gotten that money and I would not have gotten the satisfaction of helping him.
Before giving up on something your want, try asking again. A ‘no’ can eventually become a ‘yes’ with a little more persistence.