How $1.15 Made a Man’s Day The Brainchild Group News | June 25, 2010 | By Aaron Schoenberger

Today started off hectic as usual: I woke up to my cat meowing in my face, grabbed my iPhone and noticed over 50 new emails in my inbox, rolled out of bed, washed up, then headed to the office for a meeting.

After the meeting at our Downtown LA location, I had another meeting in Hancock Park. On the way I realized that it was almost 3pm and I hadn’t eaten all day, which is definitely not a good thing. I remembered there’s a Burger King that was coming up on the right, and decided to swing in; not my first choice, but it works. I was eating at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills (love the prime rib!) at 6pm, but had to get something in my stomach beforehand.

After contemplating my Burger King order, I opted for a Whopper, grabbed my food, and sat down to enjoy my first meal of the day. Three bites into my flame broiled semi-goodness I saw an older man walk through the door. This man had the positivity of a wealthy carefree person, but pulled out a plastic jar — primarily filled with pennies — and proceeded to count out $1.15 for a soda. I’m one to observe everything around me and when I saw this I took about 15 seconds to analyze the situation when I came to the conclusion that this guy was really down-and-out and needs some help.

I stood up, walked towards the front counter and pulled out my wallet as if I was ordering something. After making eye contact with the cashier I worded “I’ll cover him” and handed him my debit card (just spent the last of the cash I had one me). By the time the man looked up from counting change he had a soda cup sitting in front of him and never saw it coming. I will never forget the way he looked into my eyes and said “how can I ever repay you.” All I could say was: “Please, just think positive, take care of yourself, and pay it forward.” He then stated that he has no money, just got out of the hospital, and showed me the staples he has in his head, which wasn’t pleasant. The guy was clearly going through a lot, but did not let it get him down.

The moral of the story is to understand what’s going on around you and don’t be so self-contained that you forget about the little things in life. Today I was in the process of negotiating a total of around $30k in work, which was stressful in itself, but did not disregard another human being due to such. I hadn’t eaten all day and was starving, but didn’t focus on my food and only my food. One thing to remember in life is that it’s not always about you and your needs.

To make things absolutely clear, this article was in no way intended to make myself look like the good guy and gain exposure or business. If this was the case I’d simply cut a check to a charity and market it with a press release boasting how we support XY cause and how cool we are. But, this is not what I’m all about. I feel that we should all do positive things and do the right thing even when no one is looking. Perform good deeds because you yourself truly want to, not for others to say good job and pat you on the back.

In conclusion, the next time you see someone that clearly needs a helping hand think about if you were in their position. By buying this man a soda, something that’s no skin off my back, I made his day and showed him that there are better days ahead. A light at the end of the tunnel if you will.

Aaron Schoenberger
The Brainchild Group



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