Would you help a freezing child?

A Homeless Man Examples Compassion

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Would you walk by a freezing homeless child?

Someone posted this video of a social experiment on homelessness and I wept through the entire thing.

At first, I was weeping at the lack of humanity I was seeing, as literally dozens of people walked by this child in a sleeveless shirt on the sidewalk, in 5 degree weather. Those who walked by were covered head to toe in warm clothing and most carried shopping bags.

Oh, I wept. I wept at the inhumanity and the divinity. Truly the spectrum of who we are as a species at this point in our evolution. It begged the question from me … does one have to lose everything to really appreciate what is important. People. Not things. Still weeping.

What is most fascinating to me in watching this is the absolute awareness that most of these folks had other coats, other hats, other gloves, etc. and it would have been such a small inconvenience to simply give the child something… it would have also been a small inconvenience to stop and make a call to 911 on the child’s behalf. Even these minute considerations were not extended. Not even a hot cup of coffee.

I wished they could have contacted every person who walked by and interviewed them. Perhaps we could learn something from them. What went through their minds? What kept them walking? What stopped them from stopping? And those who did stop, and actually read the sign the boy was holding, what made them walk on? I do not believe none of them cared.

This probably touched me so deeply because I’ve been very near homeless several times in my own life, mainly due to an evidently unchangeable unwillingness to embrace a mainstream societal norm that feels like death to my soul.

I can say there are those who stepped up, every time, like the homeless man did. Those with compassion and those who somehow got that I was following a soul-level directive… or that loved me anyway, despite not understanding my life path, and were willing to help me.

So I say this too … there are those who care SO much and are so deeply connected to what is most important. I’m grateful for those folks in my own life and want to stand up for them in the midst of all those who walked by and seemed not to care. A deep bow of gratitude here.

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