Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hom(p)eless

So I was sitting in Starbucks this afternoon reading "Envy" by Sandra Brown (check it out- good book) and a homeless man came in and sat across from me. He was mumbling to himself, staring into space. Another guy across from me on the other side was getting visibly annoyed. He flinched when the  homeless man spoke, kept sighing loudly as if annoyed, moved around in his seat and eventually got up and left. When the homeless man left, he came back. When the homeless man came back about 10 minutes later, the same scene repeated.

The whole thing got me thinking. It is so easy for us to judge others. This man's mere presence was uncomfortable for the other man, who seemingly, is very successful and has a nice life, as he is enjoying his coffee and reading his Kindle. Who are we to judge others that have less than us? We do not know this homeless man's story; his circumstances, what he was born into, what his choices were or what life he leads. But we make it about us when he comes in. It is uncomfortable for us, wrecking havoc on our time enjoying our coffee when we are taking a much deserved break. Because rarely do we stop to think about people who have less.

I stayed in my seat as this homeless man came and went. I did not move; I didn't even look his way. Because it is not my job to judge him, and if the biggest inconvenience of my day is that a homeless man is sitting, mumbling in a chair near me, otherwise keeping to himself, then I do not have anything to complain about. This is the real world and sometimes we need to get a dose of reality to bring us back to earth. Not everyone is a lucky as us and not everyone can overcome certain obstacles. And even if this man brought his situation upon himself, I should not judge him anymore than I don't judge the rich lawyer or hardworking constuction worker.

Judging is easy. Sometimes staying still and not minding is the hardest part (as the other patron demonstrated). But it shouldn't be.
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