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For the last five-plus years on my way to and from work, I have walked past a man on the street that we might broadly refer to as “homeless.”
With a scraggly beard, torn and tattered coat and grungy sneakers, he quietly, almost timidly, asks passersby, “Got any change?”
On more than one occasion, I have thought about where he sleeps, where he eats and what he does on weekends. On more than one occasion, I have wondered about whether he wants to be doing what he’s doing.
What sticks in my head is that he’s always there. Every morning and every afternoon. For more than five years. And from my vantage point, he’s not changed one bit.
Forget for a moment that he may be ill and in need of medical help. Dismiss whatever predispositions you have about people who panhandle. And assume that he’s not an eccentric billionaire. Just accept, for this moment, that this man has spent five years standing in the same place and that this is not his first choice of what he wants his life to be like.
What would be different if he had taken just one day a week to do something to change his life? Would he still be standing there?
How long have you been standing in the same place?