When I was living in a homeless shelter a few years back, I came to know the prejudice against poor people. It is absolutely shameful the way our society treats them. It’s as if people think that poor people are not deserving of compassion or that they are even intelligent enough to know the difference. It’s ignorant and it’s horribly cruel.
Charity Wrapped with Dignity for the Poor and Homeless
She asked him, ‘How much are you selling the eggs for?’
The old seller replied, ‘$.25 an egg, Madam.’
She said to him, ‘I will take 6 eggs for $1.25 or I will leave.’
The old seller replied, ‘Come take them at the price you want. Maybe, this is a good beginning because I have not been able to sell even a single egg today.’
She took the eggs and walked away feeling she has won. She got into her fancy car and went to a posh restaurant with her friend. There, she and her friend ordered whatever they liked. They ate a little and left a lot of what they ordered. Then she went to pay the bill. The bill cost her $45.00 She gave $50.00 and asked the owner of the restaurant to keep the change.
This incident might have seemed quite normal to the owner but, very painful to the poor egg seller.
The point is, why do we always show we have the power when we buy from the needy ones? And why do we get generous to those who do not even need our generosity?
I once read somewhere:
‘My father used to buy simple goods from poor people at high prices, even though he did not need them. Sometimes he even used to pay extra for them. I got concerned by this act and asked him why does he do so? Then my father replied, “It is a charity wrapped with dignity, my child”
My Experience with Homelessness
Poor and homeless people suffer disparagement when they are down by so many around them, including friends and family. It’s as if the observers think they are going to catch the “poor disease” or are horribly embarrassed that they know someone who is low to no income.
For instance, I remember my mother purposefully standing 10 feet away from me and pretending like she didn’t know me at the grocery store because I was using my Oregon Trail EBT card.
And, then there are the narcissists that step in to tell you what they think you need rather than listening to the voice of the individual.
This also takes the form of forced religious doctrine or “we won’t help you because you’re not desperate enough.” I was told this word-for-word by one establishment whereupon they escorted me out into the street after watching me pack my things to ensure I didn’t steal from them as if I were automatically a criminal because I didn’t share their religious doctrine.
I am grateful for my experience with homelessness because it gave me a greater capacity for compassion and empathy. Even so, I still sometimes have to stop and think, “but for the Grace of the Universe, there go I.” I never want to forget what it was like so that I never treat any homeless or low-income person with less than the respect that they so dearly deserve for all their suffering.
And, I am grateful for each individual that came along who each, in their own way, made my journey a little more tolerable and brought cheer and hope into my life.
Something to think about as we go about our daily routines.
Together we light the way.🔥