‘Tis the Season

Homelessness is an issue that affects us all, and this gesture
is small in scope but makes a difference to that one person.

One must “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This project makes me glad. Homelessness is a complicated issue, and the solution would have to be one that gets to the root of the problem and recognizes that to bring about positive change, you have to actually provide a solution that they need. Shuffling off the homeless to another city (like that one time I witnessed an officer do) and treating it like a N.I.M.B.Y. problem won’t ever fix anything. It is the small acts of compassion that ultimately define what it means to be human and humane (Much as I deride my education, in retrospect, I’m glad I went to my alma mater when their slogan was still “competence, conscience, and compassion”).

Also, the fact that there are teenagers out there who are willing to help out like this gives me much hope for the future of humanity. We love to bemoan that all teenagers are wallowing in their abject apathy and misanthropy, but examples like this show that the kids are turning out all right, or so I want to believe. This is why I try to never assume anything about anyone, because you can’t see them for who they are if you’re too busy seeing them how you want to see them. It also reminded me a lot of The Blind Side; another real life story of how it is possible to make a huge difference and completely turn around someone’s life just by being there for them and loving them. At times I think the Ancient Greeks had it right with four different words for love, it is a tragedy that the most common connotation of the word is the romantic version since it blinds us to the fact that love is so much more than that. We ought to love freely and often, we ought to practice compassion daily and not just around the holiday season.

A little nerdy, yes, but it’s the thought that counts.

Like Albert Einstein, “The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.” Thus what has shocked me the most about my most recent misadventures is encountering that unfortunately, not everyone sees the world this way. While I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself nice, I suppose it is the fact that I try to live my life following these ideals makes me seem so to others. The truth is, I don’t need boxes wrapped in string, designer love, or empty things. I’m happiest finding examples of goodness in others, and making the most of the time I’m allotted here on Earth by spreading love.

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