One day when I was homeless, I struck up a conversation with this elderly man pushing a shopping cart containing all his belongings.
Upon learning I was living on the streets, he immediately handed me 4-5 packages with what was called “power-pancakes”. They were thick, filled with carbs and protein and one of them would provide me with half a day’s worth of calories.
“Here, take these!”, he said.
I looked at the man and said:
“I really appreciate it but I just can’t accept that. Yes, I do get hungry often, but I’m still able to groom myself. To stay fit and happy. People don’t know I’m homeless so they don’t treat me any different . There you are pushing around a shopping cart filled with dirty blankets. I think you need them more than me”
He kept insisting that I’d take them and I kept saying he should take care of himself first. We went back and forth like that for a bit until he smiled and said:
“Look boy! Giving you those ain’t gonna hurt me. I got no teeth to eat ’em with.”
I accepted his gift and forever remembered that man.
The man who had it worse than me, but still gave me something for free that made my situation better.
Today, many of us are faced with people who enter our countries with next to nothing. Running from war or political persecution. And many of us are angry that our tax money is being spent on helping those people.
But if you think about the story I just shared: Is it really gonna hurt you when some of the money that you spent on social security would go to someone who really needs it? Truth is, you’d never see that money anyway unless you became seriously sick or something else unfortunate happened to you.
And did you notice that not once did the man stop to think:
“Wait? Why does this homeless guy have fancy clothes? Is this white man just coming to America to take our women and jobs and to force his religion on us? Because that’s what white men have always done when they arrive in a new country…”
No he didn’t. He just helped me for no other reason than the fact that he could.
No matter how bad you think you have it, there’s always someone whom you can help without harming yourself.
Even if you have no teeth.
Don’t be a dick. Treat other people the way you’d love to be treated.