“If you judge people you have no time to love them.” – Mother Theresa
Just as I was leaving a restaurant in New York City this person approached me and asked if I could spare money so that he could buy something to eat. I replied, “if you are hungry, I’ll buy you something here.” I asked the woman behind the counter to let him order and told her that I would pay for his lunch and drink. The friend I was with shared the cost of the meal with me. It was less than $15, but it made this person smile for a moment. After he ordered his food, and we paid the bill, the man sat down. As I was leaving I thought to ask if I could photograph him. He left an impression on me. I have no idea why he didn’t have enough money to purchase his own meal, but my heart went out to him. Some people may say I’m a sucker…but I don’t think so. I like to help when I can and I cannot judge anyone for the hardships they have fallen upon. A large portion of homeless people suffer from significant mental illness. Mental illness can afflict anyone at any time. I realize there are others who simply make bad choices and end up on the streets for various reasons. But who am I to judge them? That isn’t my place. So, I try to help in the little ways I can, hoping to make a difference when possible – even if it is very small. One thing my family and I do when we are traveling in, or visiting, the city is to take the left-overs from our meals, that we cannot take with us and give them to the first homeless person we see. You can’t imagine the responses we’ve had when doing this. People appreciate such small tokens of generosity. It’s food for thought for the next time you are traveling in a city with a population of homelessness. If you don’t want to give them money, give them your left-overs.
I apologize for the glare in the glasses, I know it is annoying. It was a very quick shot and I didn’t want to ask him to remove his glasses.