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Citizenship

spreadthemessage: compassionate homeless man shares when nobody else would

So, according to the video above, a homeless man is more willing to share than one who isn’t homeless. This should be surprising, but, at least for me, this video doesn’t surprise me all that much. There seems to be a trend where those who have less give more.

I showed my roommate this video to gather his thoughts. Initially, he had the same reaction I did–disgust for those well off and empathy for the homeless. However, he then brought up a great, and unfortunately hypocritical, point. He mentioned that the people in the mall are probably approached a lot and thus another person begging when you are just trying to enjoy your lunch in silence is a nuisance. Sure, you feel for the guy, but you can’t give to everyone, right? Well, I beg you to reconsider because you’re not doing yourself a favor at all when you look away (if you want a harsher term, I’d use ignore) or politely decline.

A couple weeks back, I was reading Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir (a great read, by the way!) and I was reading a scene where the narrator spends an evening with a group of homeless people on the streets. During the scene a well-off man walks by complaining that he needs money more because he has a family to feed and that they, the homeless people, only have to care for themselves. Even though this was fictional, this scene enraged me because how on earth does the rich man know what the homeless are going through–he doesn’t even take the time to ask!

Regardless of my reaction, a homeless lady in the story ends up giving the rich man a 50€ note-which is kind of a lot of money! (about $55 USD) But she agrees that he needs it more. But why does she say that? This book’s theme is that everything in this world is both ours and not. We need to remind ourselves that the resources we use aren’t ours, instead they are everyone’s.

So, the next time someone argues that they worked hard for their money, remind them that money is an illusion and only a means to obtain much needed resources. Because at the end of the day, sharing a smile and treating another like an honorable human being does so much more for the soul and your well being than being alone at your computer and earning that money (I’m only talking to money-hungry types here, not wonderful people who dedicate their lives to health, social work, and so much more-yes, I’m allowed my own set of standards).

My wonderful colleague, Francis Bencik, shared a few articles with me when I showed this video to her. They’re really interesting reads, they further illustrate my point that those who have less give more. Give them both a gander and let me know your thoughts in the comment section!

Courtesy of Forbes: Research Shows Wealth-Greed Link, But Kindness Helps

Courtesy of Scientific American: How Wealth Reduces Compassion

But now back to the video:  #spreadthemessage

This video is courtesy of an organisation, Spread the Message, that defines itself as a community of individuals spreading positivity through short films. I think that’s what we need in this world. We often hear or read of stories that have a beautiful message, but to be able to watch it can tug at the heartstrings a lot harder.

There are a lot more videos where this came from. Check out their facebook page and remind yourself why you decided to become a global citizen. Help #spreadthemessage and remember that everyone is a human being with legitimate feelings.

Which reminds me of my favorite moment in the video above, when, at the end the two men sit down next each other as friends, as two empathetic human beings. I hope we all can have a moment like that.