The only real difference between a homeless person and a non-homeless person is a home. People with and without homes can have all the same wonderful personality traits as well as faults, successes as well as failures. Sometimes, people who find themselves homeless may have had great successes at times, but run up against an insurmountable problem that left them on the streets. Other times, addiction may be a driving force. Among all the reasons that a person ends up without a home, that person is just “us” in a different reality. Who knows if the shoe was on the other foot, that you or I would not be in the same situation or worse. Also, some people choose to live a transient lifestyle for more esoteric reasons rather than homelessness befalling them.
Some may protest, “BUT! Many of the homeless have problems and are on the streets because of their addictions to drugs and alcohol!” Sure enough. Some of the “homed” do as well. They just happen to have the luxury of their own roof over their head.
Last week, immediately after leaving the TEDx Indy convention, I met a guy on the street looking for work (honestly) who was homeless. I took him to grab some Steak ‘n Shake and we chatted for a while. I have done that same thing on multiple occasions before. I have never had a bad experience. It is rare for many men and women who find themselves living in shelters and on the streets to have a “homed” person relate to them with no condescension. Relating to a homeless person as your honest human equal is a great gift, not only to that person, but to yourself as it requires personal humility and perspective. What you may find when taking a bit of time out of your life to related to a homeless human is that, not only do you have something to offer them, but that they have experiences and friendship (even if very temporary) to offer you. I have had a few experiences with homeless people during my life that have left a positive, permanent mark on me.
I believe that the small, positive actions we share with our fellow humans can make a huge impact. Please visit my blog site, “The Butterfly Flutter Project,” at the link below for more information on having a direct, daily impact for the better. Also, check out this man sharing his melody on piano in the video above. His talents can brighten your day! Thanks for reading, sharing, and have a wonderful day! -Luke