Thursday, September 25, 2008

thoughts (i'm back)

As I was driving down Oxford Street today to pick up Ruth, aside from feeling the cool Fall air brush past my face at a neat 60km before slowing down to stop at the intersection, I was troubled to see a homeless man asking people in their cars for change. The path he walked on must have been at least 50 feet or so. It has been like this for two weeks now. Some days, car people give him some change while others awkwardly pretend he's not banging on their window. It is also unusual for me because every time I reach for whatever change I have left, the light turns green and I have to go just before he gets to my car. The homeless man has saved me quite a bit of money.

However, these are not the thoughts I wanted to share. What I was really musing about was this: When someone passes by a homeless person, do they validate themselves as a good person by giving the homeless person whatever change leftover from their expensive lunch or shopping excursion? Do I, Sean McMullen, really think 75 cents will change that mans life and then I can move on, thinking "I helped the poor!"? It is sadly true. But, I have learned coins and bills aren't the answer. I believe time spent with them, caring for them and listening to their story is worth far more than a few quarters and pocket lint.

Don't get me wrong. If you have money, it is a good thing to give it to someone less fortunate. It is tough however to gauge how they will use it, whether for drugs or alcohol. You'll never know unless you use that money to take them out for an expensive lunch or buy them some new clothes.

Or something like that.

It's good to be back in the blog hemisphere.