The Right Attitude to the Homeless

some have entertained angels without knowing
A good test of a person’s character is their attitude towards the homeless community. The golden rule is to treat others how we would wish to be treated, this rule must apply then to how we treat homeless men and women.
Here are my personal rules for the homeless.
  1. If I have no money and nothing to give, then at the very least give them eye contact, acknowledge they are there. I often show my open palms and say “sorry mate”. The common response I get is gratitude because they’re used to being ignored.
  2. If I have loose change in my pocket, give it. If I am going home to a warm meal, a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in, donating my pocket change is not going to hurt me, I could be contributing to their one meal tonight.
  3. If I am in hard times it’s OK to hold onto my cash. Some people give out of compulsion or out of guilt, but this is not the gentle path. First and foremost you must act responsibly, pay your bills, take care of your obligations, set aside a portion of money you will use for benevolence and when that money is done revert to rule No.1.
  4. If I have time, strike up a conversation, buy that homeless man/woman a coffee or lunch and ask them their story, “how did you end up homeless”? Sometime you will meet a few irresponsible people who did not pay attention to life, and sometimes you will meet some of the most amazing people on Earth.
I am convinced if an angel came to visit Earth to judge a society, that angel would pose as a homeless person. I have met soldiers who fought for queen and country, lost friends, lost limbs, and now live on the streets and eat from food banks. I have met an author going through a bitter divorce, but let his wife keep the home so she could raise and look after his kids. His wife had no idea he was living on the streets, but he did not mind as long as they were all safe and well. I have met people in hiding, too afraid to get back in the system because they don’t want their name to pop up anywhere, out of fear they will be found and killed. I have met drug addicts, students, renegades and on one occasion, I am very sure I met an angel, but hey, who knows? Do Angels even exist?
The next time you see a homeless man or woman, think of someone you love, how would you want them to be treated? At the same time always keep yourself safe, don’t let your kind heart compel you to your own poverty.
But these are my rules, don’t live by my rules, have your own rules, your own personal code as to how you treat those who are vulnerable around you.
Pablo McKenzie
Author: Pablo McKenzie

Yesterday is our picture, tomorrow a blank canvas; but right now is the artist at work. P.G.McKenzie

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