But the Poor shall forever remain among you

A couple of days ago, I was out getting some pizza, and as I was leaving, there was a girl in worn-out sweatpants and a hoodie I hesitate for a moment and gave her what little money I had in my wallet: $3. It was all I had, and she barely acknowledged me as I handed it to her, then her family came by and they were asking her questions, I didn’t pay attention to their conversation, however I did notice that the girl was kinda… cute.

As I was walking to the car, another individual came up to me. He told me that he was a retired Vet, and asked if I had any spare change, to my regret, I apologetically told him that I had given my last bit of change to the girl and her family. He gestured that she’d probably use said money for drugs, to which I responded, “It’s better for me to be tricked being a Good guy, than not do anything.” and then he left. 2 homeless people in 5 mins, and they were from different backgrounds, and although a part of me agreed with the Vet, that the cute girl would probably fall into drugs using the money I gave her, I have no regrets giving her what little money I had, but I always feel that I could do more.

On the ride back, I started thinking, remembering actually, how my friend Maricris would always say that she feels bad for the poor and homeless whenever we pass them by on the road. She’d always finish with a desire to help them one day, because no one deserves to live as anything less than human. She always treated people with respect and kindness, because she knows what it was like to have limited resources, and a not-so-perfect life. But like me, she grew strong, and although she’s more fragile and more easily scared by the world, her well of kindness is always deep.

Mark 14:7 “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: But me ye have not always.” King James Version. And it’s true, no matter how hard we try to make this place better, there will always be someone who’s lost everything and unable to make ends meet, and eventually those ends will come loose and unravel and everything will fall apart for that individual, or for that group of people. So it leaves the question what can one do? If there’s almost no end to this, save for extreme measures, how can one person helpso many people who are lost and suffering, some out of circumstance, others out of their own decisions and demons. Can one save one but not help the other? Of course not, because how will one be able to tell the difference? Where does the line lie for those who are suffering because of one reason and those who are suffering because of another?

Heh… That’s really depressing, when it’s put like that, almost as if any and all efforts to remedy this is meaningless. But I remember a story I read, about something similar to all this…

While walking along a beach, an elderly wise man saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “I made a difference to that one!”

Heh, It’s strange what going out for some pizza can do for someone.


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