Rethink Homelessness is an initiative of the Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness. They recently asked a few homeless people to write down a fact about themselves that other people wouldn’t know just by walking past them.
Being human can be hard. It’s easy to just judge the next person by their outward appearance, pass them by and carry on with your life. The world has become so competitive that we sometimes forget to take a moment to pause and see others as fellow humans, and not by what they have or lack. It’s become full of self-interest.
I used to give money to homeless people until I realized that they might not always use the money with the same intention that I have for them when giving it. Some of them have fallen so deep into the homeless lifestyle that they’ve made peace with it. I’ve heard stories of people who would offer jobs to the homeless only for them to return back to the streets. It’s become the only life they understand and are familiar with. I now give old clothes and extra food when I’m able to.
Some of the homeless weren’t just born on the streets either. Most made bad decisions that led them to the streets, while others were forced by circumstance and lost the courage, support and strength to fight. They can only dream, hope and wish for more as they live each day. To lose everything you have can happen to anyone, but the question is how hard will you fight to making it back on your feet if you had no support, opportunities or anyone who believed in you?
While we cannot make a drastic change when it comes to the less fortunate, small acts do go a long way. Each person has their own story to tell. Others would take an opportunity with both hands, just knowing that someone believes in them is enough for them to get back on their feet. While with some, knowing you see them as human too is enough to get them through the day.
So, give if you have more than what you know what to do with. Share if you have an opportunity to give. To give wholeheartedly is one of life’s best gifts. A life is a life, even when others do not have the means to live it as extraordinarily as you do yours. But give because you want to and not to show off or boost your ego, for it means nothing when you do it for the wrong reasons.
After all, to be homeless only means to be without a home, and that does not make one any less human.