Random Act Of Kindness Helps Homeless Man In Need

RyanCookPublished: August 6, 2018292 plays$0.32 earned
Published: August 6, 2018

Homelessness is a social phenomenon gaining monstrous momentum. A hair’s breadth separates us from life on the sidewalk. “But for the grace of God, go I.” Every city sees the problem, and some places are probably better to be homeless than others. A homeless person in south Florida probably won’t suffer hypothermia, at least not for most of the year. A homeless person in the northern climates would certainly need shelter against freezing. In the end homelessness is a problem each of us has some moral duty to solve for ourselves.

Here we see the difference common citizens can make, by giving a homeless man a new jacket to protect against the cold. The less fortunate man appears to be in the act of counting pennies when another young man approaches him with a plastic bag containing the jacket. Caught off guard, he stands up, hardly believing he is the recipient of this gift. The jacket even has the store tags attached. We don’t want to mock the fellow with exaggeration. Surely he has dreams of a forever home, maybe reuniting with a long lost family, or securing stable gainful employment that can’t be depicted in this short sequence. But sometimes small, practical interventions help us to maintain the greater hope.

There are two kinds of hope depicted here. The first is the personal hope of the subject, to improve his own situation. The second is the hope of humankind at large, that we can care for one another. This is an affirmation scene, which further edifies the goodness and godliness of humanity. Not everybody will reach out, and of course, many turn a blind eye to the plight of their fellow human. Some of us even treat homeless people very badly, indeed. But as long as there are a few righteous souls to hold up the pillars of heaven, the sun will continue to rise, and the earth will not quietly disappear into the blackness of space.

Doing the right thing can be hard. How many of us have set out to give every homeless person with their hand out a dollar or two, but eventually we are whittled down when the realization dawns that we simply don’t have enough resources to keep our own situation viable, much less support the seeming unending stream of homeless people who need help? There are a few solutions that allow us to continue helping the less fortunate, while not depriving our own essential needs. If we do have a paying job, no matter how meager our earnings, we still usually accrue fractionally more than the rock bottom expenses. We can choose one member from the sea of homeless people and favor that one—a sort of adoption. No one could impugn our responsibility. Another way is to contribute, either with a little money or volunteer time for an organized group, where the benefits to the homeless are greater than its individual contributions. Giving is also a feedback loop where appreciation for our efforts rewards continued altruism.

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