On Facebook, there is a little application you can participate in called The Interview. You are asked to answer some random questions. I was on there today reading the answers some of my friends and family wrote. There was one question in particular that interested me, and I was somewhat surprised by the answers that different people gave to it.
The question is “Walking past a beggar, spare change or ignore?”
Years ago when I was a Girl Scout leader, one of the girls in my troop, Carla, talked about something similar to this. Her thoughts on the matter where that you never know who your guardian angel may be. It could be the little old lady who needs a hand getting her groceries to the car. It may be the guy who needs thirty cents for to make bus fare. It might be that beggar you pass on the street. In Carla’s vision of life, doing good deeds for the people you know and love was only part of the picture. Helping out in small ways to those you meet in passing was the other, bigger part. Even if they don’t look or smell just right, helping those people was far more important, because you are given a chance to make a very small decision that may change that stranger’s life, even for just a moment. Not every beggar is looking for the next bottle of wine. Some are truly hungry. They may be hungry for compassionate human contact.
I always felt like the girls in my troop taught me far more than I taught them. The way Carla felt about doing good deeds in life was one of those things. So, what do you do when you pass a beggar on the street?