An ordinary day turned extraordinary for one California musician after a homeless man approached him in hopes of getting a dollar for an egg sandwich.
Adam Kightlinger recently made a Facebook post about his incredible experience playing guitar on the streets of San Diego last week.
“The music was flowing, my voice was strong and the sunshine came out quickly,” wrote Kightlinger. “The crowds of people who walked by me were giving today, throwing in a fair amount of cash and dollar bills as I played.”
More importantly, he also noticed three homeless men lying in the grass to the right of his jam spot.
“They sat up and listened to a few songs here and there, giving me a thumbs up and even smiling after I would finish a song,” he remarked.
One of the men, Michael Briggs, eventually approached Kightlinger and asked if he could have a dollar bill from the guitar case so he could have enough money for a sandwich. Kightlinger, who estimates that he had $65 in the case, simply told the homeless man to take all of the money.
Stunned by the compassionate offer, Briggs started to cry and asked why Kightlinger would offer up his earnings.
“I said ‘Because you are hungry and in a few hours, you are going to be hungry again, so you’ll need some extra cash to get a big meal,” says Kightlinger.
With tears still in his eyes, Briggs took a single dollar from the case, saying: “I know folks who need this more then me, so because you’re a good man and wanted to help me, it’s only right that I do what you did and help someone else.”
Briggs later returned to Kightlinger’s spot with another homeless man named Stanley. When Stanley asked if he could have three dollars for a sandwich, Kightlinger repeated his offer to take all of the money in the case.
“Stanley started to cry as well and also asked me ‘why,’” recounts Kightlinger. “I said ‘I am going to treat you the same as I treated Michael. I don’t need to know you to care about you – plus, you all have been very supportive of my music [for] the last hour or so, showing me some love.”
The two men then asked if they could distribute the money amongst the other homeless veterans in the area – and Kightlinger was stunned by their camaraderie.
“Turns out every single man and women I met today in that group (which grew to 10 people by the time my conversation was done with them) were all Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force veterans and served for 10 to 25 years each. [One man] was a captain In the Army and had been shot multiple times in the back (he showed me his scars and photos of him in the military). He saved multiple lives during his tours.
“Michael’s son is a Navy officer … and pays for Michael to stay in a single room apartment. Michael says that a lot of the men and women in this group come stay with Michael in his 75 to 100 square-foot small room and they sleep on the floor and bed with him. Taking care of each other every day.”
To top off the emotional experience, a bystander named Jeremy had been listening in on the conversation, and he proceeded to reward the musician for his kindness.
“Jeremy said ‘do you see what you did, how one single act of kindness has blown up into a wave of giving?’” says Kightlinger. “Jeremy then handed me 30 dollars cash and said ‘you deserve to be taken care of as well’ and walked away with a smile on his face.”
Kightlinger says that it is an experience that he won’t soon forget.
“I am so provided for, I have everything I need, and yes, I am human and go through some challenges from time to time, but really, I am so provided for and have a beautiful opportunity to give and change lives when I sing and share what I love to do.”
Play It Forward To Your Friends And Family: Share The Story Of Kindness To Social Media – Photo by Adam Kightlinger