“Every little bit helps.” a sign a man was holding in the middle of the street.
As I passed him, I thought to myself, “How many people actually stop and talk to him?”
Sure, he may not be “properly” dressed, as his jeans had holes and he appeared to be in need of a warm shower.
I thought, “Regardless of his appearance, he’s still a human being.”
Instead of going to my initial destination prior to my interview with NBC, I chose to stop by the closest restaurant to buy (2) sandwiches.
As I walked out of the restaurant, I saw that the homeless man was no longer standing in the same place.
He was making his way up the street.
“Sir, sir,” I screamed across the street.
As I caught up to him, I asked, “Would you like to share a meal with me?”
“Yes,” he responded.
We sat together, on the curb, cars passing on both sides of us, sharing memories from our past and a laugh or two.
I realized something in that short time we spent together on the curb.
Perception is everything.
I chose to look at him as another human in need, wanting to be seen, to be heard and to be supported.
I did not see him as someone who appeared homeless, wearing torn jeans or in need of a shower.
I chose to SEE him. I created a space where he could experience being seen, heard and supported. I believe most of us want this in life.
I asked him, “How many people stop and talk to you?”
His response, “None.”
Tears fell from eyes, as in that word “none” I knew that people’s perceptions had won their view.
I’m sharing this act of kindness, not for recognition but rather to challenge yourself to CHOOSE not to judge. Like the saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover.”
This human being has a story, just like we all do, and giving him the opportunity to share his story was exactly what he needed.
Let’s support one another and remember there is no good in judgment.
Love you all ♥️
Oleg Lougheed is the host of the Overcoming Odds Podcast, where you get a glimpse into the stories of individuals who have overcome adversity, suffering, and struggle in achieving their personal success.