Sunday, August 21, 2011


Last night, as I was wrapping a day on set, I took a tray of leftover craft services burritos home with me. I drove to downtown Santa Monica and walked around in the alleys looking for people to hand them out to. I walked by a scraggly guy holding a 40 in a paper bag who immediately asked me for $5 for the bus (yeah right) and replied, "I don't have cash but I'm handing out these for anyone who is hungry." He essentially said 'no thanks'. Another scraggly guy who appeared to be a friend of his came up and started mocking me for handing out "food to the homeless." I told him I was handing out food to anyone who was hungry, not to "the homeless". He grabbed the tray from me, the conversation disintegrated, and I walked away.

The encounter sucked the spirit of goodwill right out of me. So, today I went out into stupid nature, and walked through the stupid mountains, ate my stupid lunch and tried to hike off my pissy mood. It was a great sandwich; bacon, egg and cheese on ciabatta. I am a big fan of eating breakfast for other meals, especially when it also pulls double duty as a carbohydrate and protein replenishment device.

Then, I was angry at people for being loud and stupid on my lame hike. Noted. I let the drunk and stinky guys-and-burritos encounter ruin my day.

The people on the hike were actually really nice. The hike was beautiful. My mood is still a cesspool. I'm trying, dear God above, to exhibit compassion towards people on this earth, and I was met with an angry dude grabbing a tray of food from me and being mean-spirited about it. It's going to take me a little time to smile anyway and recognize that an act of compassion itself is not necessarily about how it is received, but that it was offered in the first place. I believe it is important to keep being compassionate to everyone, even mean people, but damn, sometimes it is really, really hard.


  1. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Helping people who don't want your help can be frustrating. A hike was probably the right thing to do.
    After many, many bad encounters with hustlers on the streets in Santiago, The Dominican Republic, I finally had a good experience with helping someone there. My husband and I were walking home from dinner and I had a box of leftovers that I didn't really want. When gang of little boys mobbed us yelling "Please, please, give us money! We're hungry!" I gave one of them my leftovers. He immediately sat on the curb, openned the box, and started shovelling food into his mouth. It was a win win situation!

  2. You really have to let your spirit of goodwill be the barometer of what you accomplished yesterday. You did the right thing. That others don't know how to accept it should not deter from that. I know how it can and does...but from me to you? I say thank you for trying.

  3. Amen, sister. I applaud your efforts and understand your frustration. There's no better way to say it, sometimes that stuff is just really, really hard. I appreciate you for saying it.

  4. You know I had a similar experience years ago in San Francisco which was crawling with pan handlers (this is when I lived there). I remember walking through China Town with some friends and a guy was hitting us up for money hardcore. He needed food...he said. We had some extra steamed buns we'd purchased and offered those to him. It became clear he did not want food, he wanted money. You really can't ever know about people life circumstances or motivations. The important thing was YOUR motivation which was great. Good for you about being so honest about how sucky it all is rather than glossing it over. Those experiences always lend themselves to some provocative thought.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Stay positive!