There are times that come up in life that I have the chance to teach my children something that can only be shown in real life. Having compassion when a lot of people don’t, is one of them. How can we say there is no good left in the world if we aren’t willing to BE THE GOOD? Some people are called to be public servants. My husband, the fireman. The neighbor, the cop. The nurse, doctor, paramedic. I like to think they are all trying to be the good, some portion of them knows that someone has to be the good. Help the helpless. Fight the fight.
I know that my husband is somewhat of a hero. Of course, I think that, even if they don’t often want to be called that. I wish I could save people. Not from a burning house, I’m not made for that… but my heart breaks for those who are truly in need. I wish I could be everyone’s hero, as impossible as that is.
What does this say to you?
What justifies truly in need?
That is up to the person. If they aren’t really needing what they are asking for, then that will be something they will reap later. For now, I do what I feel is best and reap that later as well. Yesterday I read a sign that read something along the lines of “Traveling and hungry.” A young guy, probably early 20’s was standing on the corner at a busy intersection. He looked like a scraggly hippie, who was probably hitch hiking to only God knows where. I pulled up and told him I would buy him something to eat and bring it back if he would like. He was appreciative and wasn’t picky.
It probably took me 20 minutes because I also needed gas. I ordered him a good man sized meal with a large drink. When we got back, he was still standing there holding his sign. He looked surprised that we actually came back. He thanked us two or three times. He just looked so young, my heart hurt thinking he was someone’s child. Where was his mother? Father? I wondered if he had family, what kind of life he had up until then and how many people drove by without so much as looking in his direction because it might be just too much to ask for a 5 buck meal. How many people avoid eye contact because once they acknowledge that there is a needy person standing there, they feel guilt for not stopping?
I don’t give rides. I’m often alone or have the girls with me, I may answer for that one day but I cannot justify letting a stranger in my truck. I know that giving cash isn’t ideal for a lot of people either. I do not carry cash, so that isn’t an option for me. I know that in larger cities a lot of the “bums” are looking to score cash for booze or drugs. An escape from the crap lives the live. I can’t help but imagine what their lives were like before they were homeless. Why are they homeless? Where are their families? It seems like some of the people are just hardened by life, have no shame left and flat out ask for what they are really wanting. Sometimes what they really want is to be self destructive. I will not willingly help do that… but If you’re hungry, I will buy you a meal or a bag of nonperishable things.
It’s easy for a lot of us to process thoughts about these people because we don’t know their past. Maybe some of them do deserve to be living like wild animals, but how many people would willingly live on the streets?
Sometimes you have to be the good.
We had a local homeless man who would call 911 when he was hungry. Drink mouthwash just to get a buzz. Relatively young to be in such bad health. Our local fire departments and EMS dealt with him quite a bit. It’s hard to see people in that position and it’s hard to see them not care.
Do you turn away?
Offer a buck?
Bring back a meal?
Wonder if it were you in the position of having to set pride aside and stand with a sign asking for what so many of us take for granted each day, would someone stop and help you? It is so odd to live in a country where so many go hungry while so many are obese.
I can’t feed them all. I know that.
I can feed someone when I know they are hungry.
I can buy a coffee when it’s cold out.
Throw’em a pair of gloves or a new coat.
I can do this because seeing people in so much need humbles me. To think of the things that I take for granted and even complain about, when others just want to no be rained on, have a meal or feel human.
BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world.