The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. – Albert Einstein
I watched a movie earlier tonight, “Cardboard Boxer”, not bad of a film. It starred Thomas Hayden Church and Terrance Howard, and it focused on the homeless. Watching the main character Thomas Hayden Church fight adversity and survive his way through day to day life on the streets got me thinking. A few nights ago I went for a walk and later wrote about it, I blogged about how cold it was and how much I hated winter. It’s true, I was just “vent writing” and emoting my true frustration with how I felt about the dark days of winter. No question about it, that night was cold, sooo cold, it was bitter and there was snow everywhere I looked. As I walked along my body was in a full contraction from the brisk night air, I couldn’t help but think about how people who live on the streets do it. Imagine having no place to go and having to try to find somewhere warm to sleep every night of your life, not only that you have to feed yourself too.
We witness this all the time, we pass by the usual suspects every day on our lunch breaks that give us their best pitch Monday through Friday to score just a little bit of change. As soon as that interaction of just a quick yes or no is over, you move on with your life. We go back to discussing what plans we have for the weekend or how good our workout was that day, the question of where you were sleeping tonight never entered your thoughts. That night as I walked I thought about it a lot, I was freezing, yes I was wimping out a bit too but I was content knowing I had a warm home to return to. I asked myself what I would do, what would be my gut instinct, could I be capable of the lasting a night like that on the street? Probably not, but it humbled me knowing how fortunate I was and how my problems just don’t seem as important anymore. I look out the window and I see a driveway that needs to be shoveled or I see a hinderance to my morning commute, I can’t appreciate the challenges they must endure each and every day battling mother nature.
The next time you pass by someone who could use some help, do so, give them a chance. Yes, I know, how can you be sure where the money is going? So many questions rush through your mind during that microtransaction, it’s milliseconds, we are quick to judge. We can stand there all day morally debating if we should but we already know the answer to that question. How much do we waste each day on the simplest of pleasures that we enjoy, ask yourself again, can you afford to give? I bet the answer is yes, we just try to find answers for saying no, like we have something to prove. We honestly don’t know where we will find ourselves in life, there are peaks and valleys in every dynamic.
That night made me realize that sometimes I do take life for granted and I do have it good but sometimes I think otherwise. I have a roof over my head, a job that I go to from week to week and a family that love and care for me. Appreciate the fact that you have cable and that the internet exists, a trip to the store takes 5 minutes by car, we got it pretty good. Give of yourself, help out at a soup kitchen, donate your used clothing, do whatever you can because at the end of the day if you give back to the people that need it the most it can slowly become the only change they might need.