Filling someone’s shoes is a great privilege, and a greater learning experience. After trying to see through the eyes of the homeless, I began to make it my duty to never pass one by and look the other way, to never make them feel faceless. Admittedly, I don’t empty my wallet at their feet, but I try to do enough to remind them that they matter to someone, because lately, I feel like they are forgetting.
I remember hearing in the news about a teenager who payed his way through college by asking for pennies from people everywhere. Of course, most homeless people aren’t trying to put themselves through college, because they’re too busy surviving, but this illustrates the concept that if everyone gave a fraction of what’s in their wallet – even a single dollar – to a passing homeless man, perhaps we could all raise an entire community while suffering relatively no loss ourselves.
Finally, on my way home from from a practice in Fountain Valley, I noticed a homeless person standing on the sidewalk next to a gas station. Of course, he did not receive much attention, but what struck me was that the station he stood near was across the street from another gas station, which costed over 10 cents more per gallon of gas. It surprised me to see the more expensive gas station rather crowded, though it sells basically the same material for a greater price. This got me thinking: If people are willing to waste significant amounts of money on such a simple thing, why can’t they give a small amount to those whose wealth is our debt?