Have You Ever Wonder...?

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Have you ever looked at a homeless person and wondered what caused or led this person to such an existence? I often wondered why the family of the homeless people didn't step in to save them. Did they not have any family to turn to? I read that many homeless people are mentally ill. So what happened to them? Did they run away from their family because they didn't want to be a burden? That's such a selfless act if that was the case. I know many people are homeless not by choice but by economic circumstances. They lost their jobs and can't find work. It is sad that they have no one to turn to for support. If my brother lost his job and couldn't afford rent or food, I would open my home to him. Never in a million year would I looked the other way and let him live in the streets. So I often wonder, what happened to these people's family and why they didn't reach out to help them.

I used to walk past homeless people every day on my way to work. No matter how routine it had been for me to see the same sight everyday, I was always bothered and saddened to see people in such low points of their lives. Last December was probably the coldest winter I have ever known in my city. We don't get snow in San Francisco but the cold air felt like tiny needles prickling on your face. Each time I dropped some money into a homeless person cup or can, I would get glances from other passerbys. Some glances were innocent ones, like the person just wanted to see how you look like. Other glances, and these are the ones that annoyed me the most, were the ones that looked at me in disgust. You should never feel that way when you see someone extending compassion to another human being. My mantra has always been, "whatever you throw out there in the universe, it will come back to you, good or bad".

I have two vivid and memorable experiences with homeless people. The first time, I was at McDonald. I had just emptied my food tray into the garbage when a homeless person came right to where I was standing, dug in the garbage can, and started to eat the leftovers. I told the homeless person, don't eat off the food and that he might could get sick. He just ate so hungrily. I handed him some money and told him to buy himself some food. He looked at so surprised. Well you know what? A customer at McDonald yelled at me, "You are f**ing stupid! Why don't you give money to the hungry kids in Africa!?". That customer walked out of the restaurant after making that remark. I looked at the homeless man and said to him it was okay.

The second time, and I kid you not, a man yelled out loud after he saw me handing some money to a homeless person eating off a street garbage can. I told the homeless person to don't eat out from the garbage can and then handed him some money. I got another "f**king crazy" remark again. I screamed back at the man, "Just continue walking and mind your own damn business". The man yelled back as he walking away, "He can find a job, he has a choice, he has hands and feet".

I don't know why or what it is that bothers people when they see another human being helping another human being. I think no matter how lazy, how unfortunate, how ill, or how low a person gets, the choice to go homeless has got to be a very tormenting and embarrassing choice. You absolutely have to let go all ego and self esteem to beg in the streets. I know homelessness is a societal problem that every country has and is probably one of those problems that will never go away. I hope the more fortunate people have compassion and sympathy and just give when they can. If they can't, then don't react in disgust when they see someone giving money. Again, whatever you throw out there in the universe will come back to you, good or bad.

16 comments:

Willie a.k.a Reptoz said...

Rose,

What a noble thing you did there. I am surprised that there are people who shouted at you for doing good things. We will never encounter that in my place. Geee...

Well...you did the right thing. My principle is, I will do good anyway, although some people might not like it.

Superman said...

Yup, the world is round. Sometimes it is so sad to see those homeless working around the town. Wonder what happened to them...feel helpless as well. Can't do much.

Rose Belle said...

@Willie - It shocks me when I see people acting ignorant like those two men. I don't get people who spills hatred onto others.

Rose Belle said...

@Superman - Sometimes I wish the homeless people would do something to help themselves too rather than begging. A lot of times, I just feel guilty walking past someone begging and not doing anything to help ease their pain.

KN said...

I have came across people who aren't homeless but beg in the street for easy money. That is pure laziness. These people would just hold up cardboards and ask for help. Then at the end of the day, they climb in their cars and drive home. The ones that eat off garbage are truly worthy of help. I give them money when I see them do that because they must be beyond hungry to eat garbage. Good article you have here.

ladyviral said...

I think this people are sick and tired of their own life because they feel that need to work their asses off everyday to put food on the table, yet a homeless person gets free money and food.

But what they never thought was, with more people like them, the world is a lousy place to be in. I once heard of a story of this homeless man who was given an amount of money. He instead of buying it on food, I believe did some investment with the money he got. He became wealthy and thanked the person that gave him the money. The morale of the story, you will never know when you are helping or saving someone just by giving some.

Mei Teng said...

I have always wondered about those I see on the streets, dressed in tatters (they looked lost and homeless) and those who appear to be insane or mentally disturbed. I wondered what caused these people to be like that. I try to make it a point to pray for them whenever I come across such people.

Dora said...

Normally the homeless people here are those mentally ill & some even going wild like naked. I think a shelter for them is needed or there'll be life threatening if the number is growing!

Deray said...

I have never heard someone yelling at a person for giving money to a homeless. That is horrible! Going hungry in the US or Africa is no different, if you can do a little by feeding someone one day you should be thanked not yelled at. Good post Rose ;-)

Rose Belle said...

@Mei - I pray that their pains and sorrows would ease and that they would have a home to return to. Thanks for sharing.

Rose Belle said...

@Ladyviral - wow, if that story was true, how amazing is that! See comes to show, when you help others, you never know what you will get back in return.

Cheryl said...

You are to be commended for helping others less fortunate. How dare the people yell at you for doing your selfless deed...maybe if they spent a day or two living on the streets they might have more compassion! I too often wonder how someone ended up homeless. No matter what, I could never turn my back on someone suffering. Its sad to think that they might be mentally ill or homeless, one never knows what might happen to themselves in the blink of an eye.

Rose Belle said...

@Dora - I have yet to see a naked homeless person in my city. I think the police will do something about it if they saw it because it is indecent exposure. I honestly would not know what to do if I saw a naked homeless person. Friends and family that visited overseas say homelessness is worse in Asian countries, I probably would cry seeing people suffer that much.

Rose Belle said...

@Cheryl - Thank you.

Gratitude said...

Wonderfully written.

This is a topic that needs to be addressed by so many governemtns and social organizations. There are so many causes as to why people are homeless. Whatever it is, we ought to be fully aware and understand that nobody would want to be in that situation if they cld help it.

I'm glad that you have a compassionate mind and heart towards the homeless. Societies have become so self-distant and selfish that even loved-ones are left to fend for themselves when help is needed.

We humans have evolved so much in this last 50 years, much higher rate than the other 1959 years combined. But socially, we are behaving backwards.

This is indeed an age of degredation.
+Anton+

Rose Belle said...

@Gratitude - You are right, we are socially backwards now more so than ever. Homelessness has gotten much worse and the goverment isn't doing much to eradicate the problem. I think a alot of people mentality towards the homeless is why help them if they don't help themselves. Everyone has his/her own strong opinion on this topic and honestly, I think it will take an unworldly and compassionate leader to do something to help the homeless people.