In your city, do you have homeless/unemployed/down on their luck folks who sit at the end of an exit ramp near a stoplight?
It always seems to be 100 degrees when I see these folks. Or it’s raining.
Normally, I pretend I’m fiddling with the radio station. Or, I begin a conversation with the passenger in my car. Anjeanette says she always seems to acquire an itch on her foot that needs immediate attention. Why do I choose to look the other way? Is it that the cynical side of me thinks they’re addicts with issues, or someone who doesn’t want to work?
Or is it the fact that it’s difficult for me to look at someone with an obvious need and ignore him? And, by refusing to look at him, I don’t have to look inside the ugly part of myself–the part that would look beyond someone who needs help?
The other day, as I pulled off the interstate, I saw the man. I also saw the driver of the car in front of me give this man a Gatorade. It was a simple gesture, but it’s stuck with me for days now. That Gatorade didn’t cost much, and it probably meant much more to this man than the $1.29 the driver spent.
This has given me an idea---I’m hoping that I will start carrying water in my car to give to people in this position. It's easy and cheap to do, right?
I can then, at the very least, look the person in the eye, rather than look away.