As is my morning habit, lately, I made my tea and opened up my feed reader to make the rounds of the blogs I enjoy (a list that keeps growing). As I was making the rounds, I discovered a link to an unsettling post: “Freezing Child… Wow… Unbelievable“.
You might want to go ahead and click that link, watch that video, otherwise some of the things I’m about to say may not make a lot of sense…
I believe, perhaps naively, and sometimes, despite all evidence to the contrary, that people are good and kind.
From personal experience, I know that there are those who are not. I know this, but I’ve always chosen to believe that they are the minority. I’ve always thought that, particularly where children are concerned, the average heart is just a little softer, a little more open. A little less likely to assume the worst, that perhaps they are being taken advantage of, or conned in some way.
I know that here, in my own city, that some of the people who hold up cardboard signs near the interstate entrances are con artists. That they make more money sitting out there with their sign and their cup than they ever have with any job they’ve ever had. I also know that’s not the case for every person I see swallowing their pride and asking for help.
As for me, I’d rather be conned now and then than shut my eyes to the fact that there are people suffering when I’m able to do something about that. I’d rather my $5 be spent on alcohol or drugs or whatever occasionally than to miss an opportunity to offer help in what small way I can.
Maybe it’s because, while I’ve fortunately never been homeless, I have been the kid whose parent has run out of food and money towards the end of the month. Maybe it’s because I know what it’s like to find yourself cold and without a coat to your name. I can empathise.
Maybe none of those people in that video have never been in those kinds of situations. They can’t empathise. Where is their sympathy, though? Human decency? Kindness? Where are those things?
I’m not even suggesting that anyone should drop their money in the cup, but surely they could take a moment to ask him what his situation is… surely they could stop to suggest someone or some place that he should contact? Grab their smartphone and look up child protective services?
Most of them just walk on by.