If there's one thing I don't like about non-profits it's their tendency to move towards rules and regulations for the sake of order and at the expense of the person they're purporting help. When everyone wants a pair of socks and we only have a limited number...rules come into play to keep people from taking two...or lying about the kid they don't have that needs a second pancake. I've been at COA enough times now that I recognize the faces and know when someone's sneaking back through the line for seconds. And for the most part I just look them in the eye (I suppose as some sort of subconscious power trip to let them know I know) and I give them another pancake anyways and say goodmorning with as much sincerity as I can muster. Because when it comes down to it, WHO CARES if they are cheating the system? It already sucks for them that there has to be a system in place just so they can eat. Today Guy tried to pull a very large man's plate away from him because he jumped back in line...and the next time he came into the line I plopped another pancake on for a grand total of 4. I'm not sure why. Walk 700 miles when they ask for 7 I guess. But in a wierd way I was also thinking, kill'em with kindness...how does that work?? Luckily the eruption that followed this incident was short lived. A community service worker came in before all this at about 6:20am (new guy I didn't recognize) wanting coffee. I did as I had been taught and told him we didn't open till 7:30 (I thought he was coming in to eat, not work). He had such a look of desperation for a cup of coffee. Once we all figured out he was working we were happy to give him a cup...and he said "every man and woman has a right to a cup of coffee". and I felt horrible for treating him like he was entitled to less if he was a guy off the street than if I knew he was there to do community service. I don't think Jesus was ever selective with who he was willing to be generous or kind to.
p.s. if you're reading this, I like conversations more than I like diaries.