As I sit here today on this lazy Sunday of the first weekend of my vacation, I am thinking about some of the things that I saw during the past week...
Practically every day, I walk one of the main streets that runs through the downtown area where I work. There are a lot of homeless people that hang out here; several of which whom ask me if I have any spare change. They ask me this same question every time they see me. I wonder to myself if they even remember that they have asked me already. Each time I say no because I don't carry any cash. Common sense dictates that we not speak with them or give them any money because they won't use it for food or bus fare, but rather, for drugs. While I feel sorry for them, there are a number of nearby shelters that can help, including Catholic Charities. I volunteer for this organization through my work. I find it comforting to know that I am helping out the best way I can.
During the mid part of the day, there are a fair amount of artists that play their musical instruments and even a few cash-strapped students taking surveys for whatever organization that is being supported this week. Walking back to the office, one afternoon, I saw a man carrying a backpack and a bag. He stopped several feet in front of me, near a trash receptacle, removed his backpack, opened it and transferred the contents from the bag to his backpack. The bag held plastic bottles and aluminum cans. An overwhelming sadness overcame me as I walked by. I realized at that moment that all of these people, this very eclectic group, are a part of the microcosm known as downtown. Like the shops and restaurants that I pass by, each are just trying to make a living the best way they know how.
So the next time, you pass an artist on the street, pay them some respect and drop them some spare change into their tip bucket. Tell that homeless person the name of the nearest shelter and if you get a chance to volunteer, do it. Your life will be forever changed. I think you'll find great comfort in it.
Wishing you moments of comfort!
***I have written this piece for a group on Facebook that I joined, GBE 2: Blog On. This is week #106 and the topic is Decisions. Interested in more...click on the picture below to take you there.
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