Like A Dog12/22/2013
I saw a homeless man on the street yesterday.
He had a dog with him and I thought to myself, “That poor dog.”
Then I wondered why I didn’t immediately think the same thing about the man.
He’s obviously suffering, too.
Sometimes you discover things about yourself that you don’t like.
In that moment, I did.
I think there is something deep in me that sees a man on the street and assumes that he is responsible for his situation.
Maybe because men have most of the power in the world.
I would have had empathy for a woman or children.
Like I did the dog.
I don’t know this man’s particular story, but there have to be thousands of stories of good, honest, hard-working men who are struggling and for all kinds of reasons can’t get a leg up.
Because who would choose living on the streets over any option to live otherwise?
But if he didn’t have that dog with him, the man might have just been invisible to me.
It’s a far reaching problem in our country now.
What was once “one nation, indivisible” is becoming one nation of individuals.
More and more, we have each other’s backs less and less.
Community is lost to personal agenda.
And people like the guy I saw are being lost in the process.
I hated discovering that I contribute with my own indifference.
I did not give a man the attention I would give a dog.
Even a one-legged table needs at least three feet to help it stand.
The one good thing about discovering things about yourself that you don’t like is that it gives you the opportunity to improve.
So, I went back and brought him food.
Just some packs of tuna, crackers, nuts, and a few bottles of water.
Things that would not spoil his backpack.
And some kibble and treats for his dog.
I was out only about $25.
I won’t even notice.