Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Do You See?

When you are out and about on your daily routine and you run across a homeless person on the street, what do you see? Do you see a fellow human being who has fallen on hard times and needs a hand up, or do you see an unclean, lazy alcoholic that is blocking your path en route to buying your latest needless electronic device or overpriced pair of shoes? Do you hold out a hand or cross the street, avoiding eye contact at all costs?

I don't mean to get all preachy here, an annoying human trait made all the more unbearable given my atheist view of the world, but I can't help but be a little appalled by the lack of human compassion afforded by those who claim to live their life by the word of God. Before anyone gets all up in arms, this is not an anti-christian bashfest, simply an opinion based on my life experiences.

A fine example of my point was made this morning while I was at McDonalds picking up some breakfast. A homeless man, holding a small sign asking for help, sat in the parking lot. He bothered no-one and was not in the way of the entrance or parked cars, yet was still subjected to a disgusted, "UGH!!", followed by a, "Get a job." from a professional looking woman stepping out a rather pricy looking vehicle adorned with a bumper sticker showing her allegiance to a local church. The man lowered his head, his shame all too apparent. I know nothing of his story, of how he came to be where he is now, but does it really matter at this point?

Most of us are, especially in this economic climate, a few short steps from real financial troubles, but if we can afford to pick up a $4 fast food breakfast then maybe we can afford to pick up 2 and give one to someone who really needs it. Maybe those who spend so much time judging others should think about the lessons taught in their chosen bible and realize that the only person who is afforded that luxury is their God.

I'm sure that breakfast wasn't enough to ease his troubles, and it may still not save me from the fiery pits of Hell, where so many are quick to tell me I am bound, but his smile, his, "Thank you", and, more importantly, his, "God Bless You", were enough to make me realize that there are still those who choose to live by their beliefs regardless of their station in life.


Kate Rorke said...

The small gestures are far greater than the grandiose. We can do more of them so spread them around, this world needs more simple acts of kindness.

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