I was hanging around Facebook last night. Nothing was happening, the news feed was slow and boring as people were out spending their hard earned cash on alcohol and entertainment.
One of my Facebook friends, a 20-year-old British man I don’t know, I only play Sim City with him, was posting strange things every now and then from his cellphone.
Things about how he hadn’t found anywhere to sleep tonight. Things about how cold it was. (And it was 36F here last night…) Things about how his toes, fingers and face were getting numb. Things about how “whoever said that family will always be there for you need to be shot in the head as that is the most amount of bullshit I have ever heard”.
I couldn’t help thinking about this. Like I said, I’ve never talked with this guy, but we have the same sense of humor and always like the same memes and pics floating around out there in Facebook-land.
In my head this guy was abusing some sort of drug. He was stealing from his family and friends to support his habit and they had finally had enough and had thrown him out.
I have no idea if this is in any way accurate, but last night, that was pretty unimportant anyway. No one should be forced to sleep outdoors this time of year! For whatever reason!
I stupidly conveyed my concerns to the only chat friend that was online:
Me: This is so typical of me. Worrying about people I don’t even know and wanting to help.
Friend: It’s because you still care about people. You have the gift of compassion.
Me: Yes, but it usually turns out real bad for ME in the end, lol! Still, don’t ever want to be as shut down as people like D.
Friend: Me, I have the gift of why the crap are you in this situation to begin with? lol.
Me: I can’t do that. I’ve needed help so many times in my life but there was no one willing, so I am completely unable to look at suffering and not try to do something.
Friend: I know. I will say I am not totally heartless, lol.
Friend: I have a hard time wanting to help those who won’t help themselves.
Me: Are you absolutely convinced they all CAN, just because it seems that way to you?
Friend: Well, everyone can do something. I’m not going to give money to a guy on the street corner so he can go buy a beer or cigarettes. I’m not going to support some fat lazy butt who doesn’t want to work but just wants to sit at home and have everything given to them. But people like M say for instance… she is a single mom, raising her kids, working as much as she can and sacrificing going to school. Someone like that I would tend to want to help.
Me: Can I quote you on this without mentioning your name?
Friend: Ummm, I guess.. Why? lol.
Me: I want to write a post on Conditional love.
Friend: Somehow that just sounded bad, lol. But yeah you can quote me, no names though, lol.
So there you have it. The compassion of others depend on their view of you. And not their view of you after they get to know you, no, their view on you as they see you for the first time without speaking to you.
And isn’t it sad, that someone who is in desperate need of compassion, usually is too depressed to dress nicely and look active and healthy.
Someone battling an addiction, a mental illness, someone who has been to hundreds of job interviews with no luck because they lack a certain word on a piece of paper or they don’t have the right look for the job or they weren’t energetic enough during the interview, MIGHT have lost that little spark that makes them care much about what happens to them.
Society has told them over and over and over again that there is no place for them here. They have no worth, no value, nobody needs them, they are redundant, nay, a cancer on society.
Why should these people bother showering, shaving, dressing up nicely and tip their hat in a cheerful manner to you when they ask you if you can spare some change?
And then you have the stomach to bitch about how bad society has become?
And this guy is a Christian. He thinks of himself as the best guy out there, a dying breed, he says.
We have had countless disputes and discussions about God and life and stuff like this.
Sometimes I can make him see things in a different light though, like the time he was on his high horse looking down his nose at a Facebook friend of his that had posted about how now that she was divorced she was homeless and desperate and didn’t know what to do with herself. All my friend had to say was that if she was so stupid as to marry a guy she had only known for a few months then she brought this on herself.
I was so disgusted that all I said was, “Yes, that’s what Jesus would do too…”
That time the message seemed to go through and he changed his opinion.
Why am I still friends with this guy since we seem to have such different opinions on just about everything you ask? Well, why not? If I wasn’t, who would try to tweak his perspective?
Who’s to say that my perspective is the right one you ask? Well it is. Otherwise explain to me how it is wrong.
What scares me is that this guy is in no way worse than anyone else. This is what society is these days.
So, you work, you earn your money. And how much of the money you earn do you spend on useless things? Things that you don’t need, barely want? Things that only benefit large corps?
You just thought that a chocolate bar while waiting for the bus would be nice. A soda you only drank half of because you were only a little thirsty. The evening paper to eye through while waiting for something. That bottle of wine just because you were bored. Designer brands, because they really ARE better than the others.
Seriously. We all spend money we don’t need to spend. It may just be tiny amounts, but those tiny amounts could easily buy a few cans of soup for the homeless instead. They could buy second hand gloves and socks and blankets for the ones having to spend the nights outside in the cold.
One thing my friend was right about: everyone can do SOMETHING!
Not everyone is able to help themselves, and if you look for it, you can always come up with a reason NOT to help others. But those reasons are just bullshit.
Helping someone is a win-win situation. They feel better, you feel better. It brings them a step closer to the warmth and it takes you one step closer to the realization that by helping the lowest of the low, you’re really helping all of humanity.
And humanity needs all the help it can get.