Reader comment on Jacob Needleman's passage ...

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    On Apr 7, 2011 susan schaller wrote:

    This needed story reminded me of when I first moved to Berkeley many years ago.  I wondered how I was going to relate to all the panhndlers.  I couldn't give everyone all my money, but I hated the idea of looking away and rushing by as so many people do.  At that time, I often stopped for a cup of coffee after I dropped my kids off at school.  I decided to befriend two women who were outside of my coffee stop.  I chatted with them, got to know them, and considered money for them as part of the price of my luxury coffee break.  Then for the rest of the day, I could look others in the eye and say, I support C_____ and C______ at Shattuck and _____.   I discovered the truth of this story: everyone thrives when authentic attention is given.  I got more smiles and lit up faces than any monetary donation ever got.  Since then, I practice looking people in the eye and greeting them as I pass.  I've noticed how much nicer people have become over the years!

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