Is Happiness a Chicken Sandwich?

Today I got out from buying my lunch/dinner near Loyola and passed by a lady from the #Chicago #ChickFila who was passing out free chicken sandwiches. I initially passed her by, but said that she should give a sandwich to the homeless guy down the street. I passed him by earlier because I didn’t have the fund ability to do anything. Then I stopped, turned around, and picked up the sandwich from her, went back and gave it to the guy. Quick, easy opportunity to do something that could make a difference in someone’s day. I’ve been hungry before. Thankfully, not homeless, but I know what it’s like to have been down to your last bag of onions and have people treating you badly for your penury.

I went back for another sandwich for myself- I haven’t tried a ton of ChickFila’s menu, but I do know that it tends to be good food. A little pricier than other fast food, but typically good quality stuff. The man standing next to her was holding two sandwiches as she looked me in the eye and replied that it was only “One sandwich per customer.” I was a little shocked, and told her, “I gave my sandwich to a homeless guy.” She shrugged her shoulders a little coldly, but I figured that she was just doing her job. I kept walking.

No, I didn’t give the guy the sandwich to write a blog post about it. If I took away her opportunity to give the man a sandwich later, I’ll never know. Luckily, I’d already bought my own food. I didn’t give the guy the sandwich to dismiss her, or to keep him from finding a job, employment, etc. but to help someone live. Don’t care what kind of praise or ridicule that it would get.

Last time I checked, I try to be a decent human being. I would think that ChickFila would appreciate that, but I know that when I said that she might want to give the sandwich to the homeless guy, she looked shocked, disgusted, and appalled as I walked past for a second. I looked back and she was completely happy to give sandwiches to everyone else who was out there.

I overheard her mentioning to someone when they asked why the free sandwiches that the store wanted to get to know the community. She’s doing the same job as any Costco sample person. I love the samples, and I’m grateful that they’re there, but please don’t tell me that they’re to increase good will in the community. It’s selling product. All of the people that she gave samples to were well-dressed Gold Coast types.

Who is she to judge him? To me, it’s not a race thing, and it doesn’t matter what races the people were. It might be a socio-economic thing. Normally I see myself as one of the poorer people when I come to this area of the city. I have as many flaws as the next person, but I am confident in doing well. If she saw him every day, and he swindled people, that’s not my concern. My concern is making sure that I do the best that I can with the circumstances given. Last time that I knew, that’s the meaning of life. Maybe that’s what she meant to do, too, but the interpretation of commitment was shaky.

And no, I didn’t give the guy the sandwich to get another one, but I was honestly surprised at her reaction. And I’m grateful that I didn’t have to worry about someone else’s good will to feed me tonight. Perhaps it says something about American society that it’s not acceptable to #sharegoodness unless it’s to the people who we deem worthy of it. That’s not acceptable to me. I’m working on forgiving people. I’ve got a lot of things on my plate when it comes to what I need to do and how I need to live. I’ll be lucky if I can make it to Christmas this year. That said, a free sandwich making a man’s face light up like there was nothing better on this earth? That’s the stuff that makes life a little better. I don’t know where the nearest shelter is or if he’d take the help. However, I was able to do something and did something for once. With or without coming out of it with a sandwich, it was worth it.