This spotlight is on one of the most amazing places I’ve volunteered: Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.
We’ve all done it – drive or walk past a homeless person on the street ignoring them completely. No eye contact, no words spoken, as if they were invisible. I’m guilty of this and I’m pretty ashamed. Why is it so hard to acknowledge a person struggling? The more we put up that barrier between “us” and “them” the more we start believing that there is some sort of real separation between us. Would you completely ignore a coworker on the street? Your mother? A person asking for directions?
The truth is we are all human beings; we all feel and hurt and struggle. We are all connected. For this act I decided to stop ignoring other people. To start understanding that we aren’t different; that I could have easily been in their position. I will not ignore anyone else on the street anymore. To even acknowledge with a “no, sorry” or a smile makes a significant difference. I urge you to take part in this as well!
I made homemade kits with pictures of trees I drew representing the many different lifelines that make up this world. Each line represents some connection we have with each other, nature, animals, etc. On the back I acknowledged the person I drew it for and let them know we care about them. We see them.
The kit also included fruit and water as well as a little bit of money. It was made from my favorite repurposed brown paper bags that were individually painted.
I drove around and handed these out to people in need holding signs of hard times. The reason I labeled this post as “Love in Circulation” is because of the belief that whatever we put out into the world is what we will receive back. If you project hate, frustration, ignorance you will only see the world filled with that and in turn experience those emotions in circulation throughout life. So instead put love, kindness, hope into circulation. I know this is easier said than done, but consciously making an effort every day to acknowledge others positively causes a chain reaction even if our actions seem small.
I LOVE YOU!
Mental Illness and Homelessness
Homeless Veteran Transformation
Make Them Visible – Social Experiment
Make Them Visible – Website
Union Gospel Mission – Get involved and volunteer locally!