It’s a common myth that the poor and hungry are lazy, only using the system, expecting hand-outs while doing next-to-nothing. Who wants to support (or enable) “these people” with their own hard-earned money? It’s true there are always a few who abuse the institutions in place meant to aid our most needy citizens, but it’s a very small percentage. Most of “those people” can be found in our work places, in our schools, in our churches, and in our municipal, provincial, and federal offices – and you know them well. Why punish the majority for the actions of so few?
Compassion costs nothing and means everything to those who are isolated and without support. Many studies and articles have been published proving the power of positive community – it’s astounding that we still resist it, wrap our prejudices around ourselves like a cocoon, and still try to emerge as “good” people.
Not everyone can afford the time, effort, money, or emotional commitment for others for whatever reason – and that’s OK, but everyone can present a smile to another person, letting them know we too are human. And that is a great start!
Image credit: David Fitzsimmons for the Arizona Star 2011