Driving home today, passing by the freeway something caught my eye and made my heart ached. I saw a man with his back to the street, hunched over on a plastic chair and leaning against the wall at the same time. Next to him was metal shopping cart filled with plastic bags of something. It was a quick glance but I could tell that his clothes haven’t gone beyond shabbiness or that his hair hasn’t yet matted together with filth. It looked like he hasn’t been long on the streets. Perhaps he was recently homeless due to the tough times. My first thought, “Oh God. Poor man. Where is his family?”
We all have a family at one point of our lives. Sometimes our family might not be the best family on the block or in the whole city, maybe even the whole state, but they’re still family. They’re there for us during the good times and the bad, to share with the joy and the misery. The bad patches in life are so much more bearable when we have someone to cry on or to share our troubles. That man was huddled by the freeway all by his lonesome.
Then I got mad at life – how could this be so? Life should be a memorable journey of shared joy and gladness. There shouldn’t be tears, sorrow, or loneliness. Who would have the courage to go on living, knowing that in the future that’s the bleak future they face – a life of homelessness and loneliness? Then I thought about our society, the government, and our nation. It’s our bad luck that we do not have good leaders who care for the people, who truly take their office seriously as public servants, giving their time and efforts to improve the conditions of their fellow citizens.
Then I thought about us as individuals who elected these officials into office. We have the power of the people, but we don’t make use of it. Every one of us live our lives isolated from the rest of the world, focused only on the advancement of ourselves or our families. Not many of us have the time or take the time to think about helping our neighbor or our fellow man, or our many brothers and sisters who have no place to call home, including our four-legged brothers and sisters that who looked at us with sad eyes.
I realize that in order to have a better world for all of us, man or animal, the change has to come from within us. We have to live with our heart and not with our mind. I think I read somewhere that the destruction of great civilizations came as a result of the neglect of the human spirit, the human heart and soul. We pretty much sold our soul for money or for a temporary material existence.
I’m no different from anyone. I didn’t stop to inquire if he needed help. I didn’t know how I could help him. I didn’t know if I could take the time to give him a hand. Now I grieved that my heart had been so narrow.