About Bradley's Blog:

A cop, a writer and a whole lot more.

Here you'll find my thoughts on writing, links to my published works, law enforcement musings and other tidbits. Please subscribe to my blog and I encourage you to share anything you find worthy. Thanks!

Disclaimer: these are my opinions and mine alone. I am not speaking as a representative of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in any shape or form here. These are not necessarily the opinions of my employer.

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Backwards Theory of Giving

I wrote this a couple days ago on Facebook and decided to share it here on my blog as well. I hope you're encouraged as much as I was.

Do you ever feel led to do something for another out of the blue? It doesn't have to be something huge, it might be something small. Do you ever listen to that voice? I did today.

I wasn't going to tell this story, because I don't like how it comes off--I think people who tell others about when they've been generous or kind have received their reward in full the minute they open their mouth about it. But, I've decided to tell you about this for one reason only: to encourage as many of you as I can to listen to that voice when it speaks.

Today, I was in downtown Vegas, wearing blue jeans, a polo shirt and a torn up old windbreaker jacket that I don't ever seem to replace. I had all of my good stuff covered up...you know, the police stuff.

I was driving by a 7-Eleven store and just down the street, I saw four homeless guys sitting in a rocked area on the side of a building. They were just camped out there, sharing a 2-liter bottle of root beer and some Cheetos.



All of a sudden, I thought, "Cheeseburgers."

So I went down the street to Burger King and bought a bag full of cheeseburgers. Not just the cheapo-dollar-menu cheeseburgers, I got double burgers with bacon.

I drove back to where the guys were hanging out, stepped from my car and walked over. They were a little worse for wear, and I could tell all four of them had been on the streets a long time. A lot of the time, there's some level of mental disorder with some of the homeless folks, so I knew I had to be at least a little careful. But I wanted to just be ordinary. I didn't even tell them I'm a cop until I was getting ready to leave.

I sat down in the rocks with these guys for about forty minutes, shooting the breeze while we chomped down our cheeseburgers. It gave me an opportunity to tell them how thankful I am that God has blessed me so well that I could pass some of that on to others, even if it's just a bag of cheeseburgers. I've wished for riches in the past so I could really bless others, but this cheeseburger supper met any of those hopes just as deeply.

I'm betting these fellas loved the cheeseburgers, but you know what? I bet they loved the time and conversation even more. They knew I was just some random guy, not homeless, not rich, and I chose to be with them for a little while. I'm hoping it made them feel a little bit "normal" at least for a few moments...whatever normal is.

Our little powwow was cut short when a homeless woman named Kathy (who I've also never met before), came up and accused me of being a cop. How dare she!

Kathy blew my cover in the first thirty seconds she was there. Seeing as how she was a little drunk, not a small girl, and told me she doesn't like cops, I figured I had better pack up and go. The boys started jawing at her and I figured there was no sense in a fight starting over me. Plus, I didn't have any more cheeseburgers to share with her.

The look on the faces of the homeless guys when I confessed I was a cop was priceless. I'm pretty sure one of the guys even started to tear up. I shook each man's hand and even got Kathy to smile with a joke, then made my way back to my car and drove away.

So here's to Jeff, Jeff, Jason and George. Oh, and Kathy too, I guess. Stay warm tonight, and thanks for making my day. I'm fairly certain I got more out of giving than I gave. I like how that works backwards.


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