This is very nice, but I think somewhat idealistic. And maybe even dangerous.
Didn't Elizabeth Smart's parents talk to a panhandler and offer them a
job? Yeah, he ended up kidnapping and raping their daughter for nine months. I
know he wasn't mentally ill (according to the courts), but many, many
homeless people struggle with mental illness. And a recent KSL article followed
several panhandlers and NONE of them were in the dire straights they pretended
to be and many of them were criminals. I'm not saying we shouldn't
treat people with love and respect, I'm just saying, you better be careful,
very very careful, when you approach someone in that way.
There are so many out reach programs who truly want to help so there is no
reason why we should see anyone begging on the street. My heart goes out to
anyone who feels that desperate to take from those who are doing their best. I
have extended myself with a hello and there have been times I have been treated
unkindly because I don't have change. i don't think your helping
those holding a sign by giving them money because you're validating what
they are doing. When I see the corner empty, I am grateful they decided to get
the help they need.
We are all children of our Heavenly Father. This article underlines my feeling
over the years that validation is as important as money (perhaps even more so).
A few years ago I faced the quandary of ignoring "people on the corner"
and not wanting to support their possible addictions. Like Mark, I felt
inspired to start asking their names and as I repeated their name told them I
would pray for them. This act of validation has proven time and again--to me as
well as the person to whom I have spoken--that we are ALL truly connected. It
has helped me become less judgmental. I cannot know another's
circumstance. All I do know is that we are brothers and sisters!
Great article. Thanks for the reminder that we need to treat all our brothers
and sisters with kindness.
But by the grace of God go I. I've heard that the faces and hands you meat
on your way up the latter are the same ones you'll see on the way down.
Give them your respects.