“They don’t listen to me, all they give me is garbage,” are the word of a gentleman I encountered a couple days ago. All he wanted was 50 cents or some money but, people always tell him no, or I don’t have any money or I’ll get you something to eat.
On that same afternoon and the next day I did outreach by myself, I approached different individual’s some who accepted my conversation with gratitude and others who did not want to talk to me. I felt happy to engage in conversation if they allowed me too. On the other hand I was saddened and frustrated because people that walked by looked at me funny, wondering why I was sitting down talking to a homeless person.
How do we treat people in the streets? Why do we dehumanize or create boundaries to those that look different? I’m guilty of looking at homeless people with disgust or even being afraid of them but, my position in street outreach helps me understand that hardships exist and that I should see them as human beings. I was quick to judge but I didn’t take the time to get learn about them or what they had been through. Now I hear them share their stories with me and I can honestly say that it can happen to any one of us.
Be grateful for everything that you have because in the end you are not there because of yourself but because others have helped you get there. Be quick to help others, learn to love and break boundaries.