Homelessness is an ongoing problem in every community.
You never know why people are in certain places emotionally or what they're going through on a daily basis. It’s not really our job to know all of the reasons why, otherwise we risk being judgmental.
What we can do is give, listen and support.
Giving doesn’t always have to mean giving something physical or monetary. Giving can also be in the form of time, respect or emotional support, like having a conversation or standing up for someone who is unable to stand up for themselves in the moment.
Not long ago, I was waiting outside of a restaurant waiting for a table and a homeless man in a wheelchair was trying to come up a ramp. He whistled and said, “Can someone help me?”
I was caught up in a conversation and didn't hear him, but no one helped him. He asked again in a low voice and, hearing him this time, I rushed to help.
We talked for a short moment as I pushed him to his desired location and I could tell he was grateful for the conversation, even though it was brief. He was thankful that I had helped him and treated him with respect. He asked if he could buy me a burger - I instead offered to buy his.
He didn’t ask for food, water, or money - he just needed help getting from point A to B and needed to be heard and acknowledged, just like we all do.
Giving is contagious, no matter in what form it comes.
My wife and I went through a tough period when we were trying to conceive and were struggling with infertility. My wife was given a key from a friend that said "BRAVE." That key spoke volumes to her and she wore it proudly. My wife then gave her key to another mother to inspire them to be brave in the face of their personal trials.
I’m truly inspired by the way others give; it feels magical and creates a wave of giving that spreads throughout those around the giver. I feel that if we all aspire to be generous and open-handed, and even just open our eyes to the needs around us, the world would be a much better place.
Go into this season with a generous heart, maybe intending to bless someone you wouldn’t normally.
Buy someone a coffee, do a good deed to help someone in need... Do you realize how far a small gesture like that can go? You’ll make someone's day, enhance their mood and, hopefully, inspire that person to pay it forward. And hopefully, because of your one small action, you will create a chain reaction of giving and kindness that will flow all around the world.