It’s hard, if not impossible, to believe that anyone is homeless by choice. And yet a large majority of us look upon homeless people with disgust.
Not Casey though. No, she has a slightly different approach. One day, she passed a homeless man trying to scrape up change from the street. A little while later, that man came to the same Dunkin’ Donuts she was sitting in. It transpired he had only managed to scrape together a dollar.
Casey offered to buy the man a coffee and a bagel. Although the man was reluctant to accept, he took her up on the offer. Then Casey asked the man if he wanted to join her at her table.
The man, whose name is Chris, appeared wholly shocked. Eventually, however, he joined her at her table. He told Casey about how people usually looked down on him simply because he’s homeless. He also acknowledged that it was drugs that had put him in his sorry state, and he hated himself for it.
Chris still harboured dreams of becoming a son his mother could’ve been proud of. She had passed away from cancer a long time ago, but it was still an ambition of his to do well in her name. Casey and Chris talked for over an hour before Casey realized that she had to go back to school. Time had flown, and her class was about to start.
Just as Casey got up, Chris asked her to wait a few seconds while he wrote something down on a wrinkled, old piece of paper. He pushed the note into her hand and apologized for his ugly handwriting. Then the two of them parted ways. When Casey unfolded the paper, she realized she had done something much more important than feeding a homeless man.
Written on Chris’ note, was, simply: “I wanted to kill myself today. Because of u you I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person.” Sometimes, a thoughtful gesture, a selection of kind words, or even something basic as a smile can make more of a difference than you can imagine.
Remember that the next time you meet a person who looks down, or might not be feeling as good as you. You have no idea what’s going on in their life. But one thing is certain, everybody in this life is equally worthy of love and compassion.
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