- Books, Literature, and Writing
A homeless man there on the street
Too ashamed to ask for a bite to eat
Cars pass under and over the bridge he sleeps beneath
But he is not your responsibility
A young mother struggling on her own
Her friends and family left her all alone
Now she doubts her own capability
But she is not your responsibility
A friend left stranded in the middle of the night
All that she needs is a simple ride
But she acted so irresponsibly
And she is not your responsibility
A child lost and searching for his mother
Surely he will find help from another
That he might be kidnapped seems beyond probability
And he is not your responsibility
A loved one at the end of the rope
Just trying not to lose all hope
Emotions buried under a cloak of invisibility
Still, she is not your responsibility
If not your responsibility, then who?
Is there absolutely nothing that you could do?
Just step outside yourself long enough to see
Is love not everyone's responsibility?
We have all been in a position at some point in our lives when the kindness and compassion of another made all the difference in the world. Life can become overwhelming in a heartbeat. At any given time, anyone can experience moments of fear, frustration, desperation, pain, and intense heartache. It is during such times that words of encouragement, a hug, or an ear to listen mean so much more.
When the world around a person seems to be closing in more and more every day and surviving is nothing more than going through the motions, one learns quickly why people are so opposed to swallowing their pride to accept charity. When people respond to knowing one is in need with half-hearted offers to assist only and let it be known just how perfunctory the offer really was when irritation shows and subtle comments about inconveniences are made, one learns to feel like a burden and ashamed to ask for anything.
On the other hand, when a sincere gesture is made it once again sparks hope where it may have been lost. We just never know if that homeless guy on the street is homeless because he would rather beg for money than work for a dime or if he is homeless because something knocked him down and circumstances mostly beyond his control keep him down. Unless someone else comes along, that is, to help put things back in his control. If you do some research, you will find that most people living on the streets will not panhandle if they can avoid doing so. In fact, they will go out of their way to avoid showing their homeless status due to the level of shame it causes.Let's all try to see the person behind our judgment first. Better to be wrong about several that we help rather than to miss helping the one whose world may have been changed by your generosity and kindness.