Various religions speak of tales of kings dressed as paupers to test the people to see how they behave toward those less fortunate. But in Vancouver, Canada, something like this is really happening. A young man named Yogi Omar reports that when he saw a homeless man begging for change, he nearly passed him by. He had just spent pretty much everything he had to buy an expensive plane ticket to China to see his terminally ill father. But something made him stop and ask the man if he could buy him a meal. What happened next would make Buddha and Jesus proud.
The homeless man revealed that he wasn't really a panhandler -- that, in fact, he was quite wealthy and every year he dressed up like a pauper around the holidays and rewarded people who treated him kindly.
So he was about to reward Omar. He asked him what he could do for him, but Omar declined. When the man asked him how much he paid in rent, Omar told him $469 a month.
So the man reached into his knapsack and took out one month's rent -- in cash -- and handed it over. An astonished Omar told The Vancouver Sun:
I was like, "Is this serious?" I was really stunned at that point.
The mystery man told Omar that he does this for three hours every holiday because he wanted "to see who cares about the homeless."
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The man refused to give his name, but Omar was determined to get his story out, so he posted the unusual incident on Facebook. He got a "bazillion messages" in response. Then he paid his rent.
How beautiful that not only is the mystery benefactor doing this -- but that he wants to keep it secret and not videotape it and have it all over YouTube! What are the odds these days?!
The man seems to understand that the reward you get for doing good isn't clicks or fame, but the feeling you get by helping. And he obviously wants to give back to those who give back.
What a wonderful random act of kindness for the holidays. And what a nice lesson to give even when you are tapped out and think you can't.
How do you help over the holidays?
Image via BobMical/Flickr