10 November 2008
“Hope never abandons you; you abandon it.”
I have long had a fascination with abandoned houses, especially those houses in which nothing has been taken, everything inside sitting still as if the owners are expected to return any moment now. More so, abandoned houses, especially if they are still burdened with belongings, beg a story. What powerful force caused a person to just up and abandon their house and all inside it?
While I have never abandoned as much as a house and all that I own, I have found that in particular situations, I am prone to abandon something else much more precious: my heart.
Some might experience it more often than others, depending on the society in which you live, but we have all witnessed people in desperate need, and I think I might be correct in saying that we have all at some point, looked away.
We look away to avoid being a witness, to cut the emotional cord, keep ourselves from being moved, and perhaps, feeling something deeply. We quickly scramble to shift our thoughts elsewhere. We don't want to feel the guilt or the burden of any responsibility to be a "Good Samaritan" and aide whomever we have seen in need.
What are we so afraid of? Are we afraid that should we not look away, that our hearts might be moved, and that we just might interrupt our schedule, our pattern of life, and help?
Then there are excuses of, "I don't have time", "I don't have any money to spare", and so on. Perhaps we even wonder if the person we see in need is in such a position because of accident or because of choice. If we help them, whether our help will be appreciated, or our donated change used appropriately.
If we say we don't have time, could we not make a little time? While we cannot control the rate at which time runs, we can control how we spend our spare time. If we say we don't have money, could we not give our time instead?
There is a story I have been fond of ever since I was a child. About a time of offering, in which a rich man gave a great sum of money to the needy, though the amount he gave was only a mere fraction of his wealth. Then came forward a woman who had next to nothing, and yet, out of faith, she gave all she had. Though she had far less, the act of the woman is an act far more commendable than that of the wealthy man.
In my life, I have often have been guilty of looking away, abandoning my heart when I do not want to feel sympathy or guilt. And yet, who am I to stand in the face of need and not give? I know now that I will never be satisfied or proud of a life spent protecting what things I have, and helping only myself.
We all can aide those in need, in different ways, in whatever ways we are able of. No amount of time, no amount of money is too small to give. Do not abandon the emotion, the power of your heart, and always know that even small acts can cause great effects. Give a smile, give a hug, give a listening ear, give faith, give a warm meal, give peace, give love, and give hope for the good of humanity.
When you see others in need, such as homeless on the streets, do you tend to look away? Have you ever stopped and reached out to someone in need? If not, what do you think stops you from helping? In what ways do you give to others? Would you like to give more, or do you think whatever you may do or give already is enough? Other thoughts?
Title Quote: George Weinberg
Photo Credits: www.flickr.com/photos/kbauman & www.flickr.com/photos/13899979@N00 & www.flickr.com/photos/10330100@N06.