As 2009 comes to a close, its time to look back and be thankful for the many blessings we have. A roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, clothes on our back, family who love us whether they want to or not, and friends that stick closer than glue. Maybe you got lucky this year and found love in the arms of someone who cares very deeply for you, maybe you didn’t (I sure did!)
But what about those that aren’t so fortunate? Often we don’t like to think about them as much. But they need our thoughts, our prayers, and our actions, now more than ever. So the next time you see someone begging for money, go buy them lunch. Volunteer at the local homeless shelter. Donate the piles of clothes you never wear to the local goodwill. Teach your children the importance of valuing the individual rather than the statistic. Yes, there are less than scrupulous people who will try to take advantage of your generosity. But does that mean the person who has simply stumbled and needs a helping hand is any less deserving of your assistance?
This issue is rather close to my heart, not because I’ve been there, but simply because I hate to see people suffering. Every human being has the right to live a life better than the one pictured above, simply because they were born. We have action groups to make sure that animals aren’t mistreated, yet homelessness in America is an issue that is, by and large ignored by lawmakers and policy shifters the world over. Homeless people are viewed as a nuisance, something to be swept under the rug and forgotten about. That is someone’s child, someone’s loved one. Regardless of the circumstances that led them to where they are, they deserve all the help we can give them, so long as they are willing to help themselves.
So I urge you, as you’re getting ready for your parties and making sure your kids are tucked safely away in bed, to remember these people and resolve to help them in the new year. It’s the actions of individuals that lead to change.