Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Sharing with a homeless man


--by guin, posted Feb 22, 2007

I was really moved when I saw an old man. He used to previously do gardening and other odd jobs around our area and earn a living. Apparently his famiy has now deserted him since he is no longer young and able.

He was wearing just a tattered vest and a dirty veshti (cloth tied around the waist). I felt very sad when I saw him wipe his thick dark glasses and hands with this very dirty shirt.

I went home and brought him a nice shirt belonging to my dad. He felt very touched.  Since he occupies a pavement in front of a neighbourhood temple that is visited very often, I thought that maybe people would be compassionate.  But he told me that he goes without food for several days.  Below him there was a filthy orange that someone had given him.  I brought him a loaf of bread.

Since then on my way back from college, I have been buying a packed lunch out of my pocket money.

I give it over to him in the afternoon. He seems very weak and it is very sad to see him with his 3 sole posessions-a broom, an umbrella and a thin blanket.

I usually feel happy after doing something kind, but somehow, to be honest, I haven't been feeling that way about this.  I would like to know from readers if you think I am making him dependent on me or something?  But I also know for a fact that if i don't bother, no  one might.

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Readers Comments

silentdreamer wrote: dear guin, i always believe that the intention with whch you do something determines the outcome. if you do this work with the intention of pure love then a greater good will surely come out of it. a solution will surely present itself. have complete faith in what you are doing, do it with the intention of pure love and i believe that it will have to lead to a positive solution. when we work like this the solutions come in the most unexpected ways.
tlf wrote: Always let your heart lead you. People have many opinions, but your heart is your best guide. Help when you can and if we all helped just one person in need with no strings attached, what a difference this world can be. Your are ENABLING him to LIVE! Life is precious and may the kindness of others be passed forward to you one day. And its ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
Grace wrote: Guin, I feel exactly the same way - my children allways tell me that I cannot save the whole world - but then I say we can all try and make it a better place for people like this old man.
MJ wrote: This iss wonderful what you are doing. I agree on the aged home,getting him off the street would be the best thing. You may ask the church for help. God bless you and the old man!
ieiblue wrote: is there a way that you can give him a job?.. that way, i know he will also feel that he is not depending upon anyone but still trying his best to live modestly through his own means. Isn't there any place where he can actually stay? not on the road?...follow your heart.. you're doing good but if you think otherwise.. might as well stop it... go upon what your heart says.. as for me...he never likes his status now.. if only you can help him get a work... :P
violetangel wrote: Ask yourself, are you are doing this out of pity or out of love? There is a subtle difference. The pity vibration will not help you or him, but love will lift you both up.
Nixa wrote: I have done volunteer work with the homeless people in my past. I belonged to what we call here the "night teams" and we distributed food and blankets. Yet, the most important was not this. The important act of kindness was to TALK with these people, be interested in their stories that led them into the streets and trying to find and motivate them to get out of there. Practical advise: understand why he is living on the street, search for some organization nearby that might help him (rehabilitation center), try to motivate him to start over in one of these programs. Note: he will probably not be able to get a job without an address and he can't get an address without having a job. This is a very complex problem... but you should continue to help: not with money, but with food for the body and food for his thoughts.
monkeyinpajamas wrote: thanks for all your suggestions.
The only thing is that he is way too old and infirm to work anywhere.
I am going to ask him if he would like to be moved to an old age home and then try to find one.
Until then I need to follow my heart and do whatever I can for him in terms of food, and materially.
wink wrote: There should be more people out there like you. You didn't think with your head - your heart led you. I would pray about what to do next but the suggestion of pity vs love is good. Let the Love lift you and him up - there should be more young people like you doing good deeds!!
ieiblue wrote: go on...as long as in your heart it's not just pity but you're doing it coz deep down in your heart it's supposed to be done... :P

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