Homelessness presents an inconvenient reality. The reality is that poverty exists in our cities. While it's easier to insulate ourselves from the minimum wage working mother of four, it's difficult, if not impossible, to forget that there are some people in our country who have no place to lay their head at night. They confront us on our sidewalks, at our intersections. They ask us for money, or food, or a warm blanket.
I have learned that I feel so uncomfortable with this confrontation not simply because of the one person in front of me but rather because it invades my middle upper class world. It intrudes.
And although I believe there is often a difference between home-less and panhandler, nevertheless the person on our familiar corner reminds us that poverty exists -- not just far away but in our own cities.
I wrote recently of our learning to live in tension with the guilt we feel passing the person begging for money. To not so quickly dismiss it or to justify our lifestyles, but rather to begin to ask the question, "What more is being asked of me? Where am I being called?"
What if we collectively began asking these questions and then individually expanding our worlds to care for the one person in front of us today?
It's not about doing everything; it's about doing one thing. One simple thing. Buy someone's coffee, shake a panhandler's hand, tip 50% instead of 20%.
This holiday season, help one. Love one. Share it #myhumanimpact