Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Musings: What About the One?

Our family went to see "Beauty and the Beast" Friday night.  We met some friends up in Salt Lake, had dinner, and went to the theater.

In order to capture the city experience, we decided to take Trax. (Also, to avoid parking issues).  AS we were waiting at the train station, we saw man who was homeless.  He was in a wheelchair and  pushing  another cart around with a paraphenalia of random items.  He was taking food out of the garbage can and eating it.  He was also singing Primary songs. 

Needless to say, we were a little freaked out and uncomfortable.  Me, well I took the amused approach.   I chuckled at his rendition of "Give said the Little Stream" and tried to lighten up the situation.

Yet that night, I couldn't get that man out of mind.  Was he crazy?  Was he lonely?  Probably.   Was there something more I could have done?  I don't know.  As a family, we try to donate to different organizations that help the poor.   Is that enough?

Yet what about the "One"?  What is our responsibility?   I know we need to use common sense and we need  to protect ourselves. But what about a smile? Instead of rushing past him like he had leprosy as I head off to a nice restaurant and theater, couldn't I have  just smiled or even acknowledged him as a child of God?  Why couldn't of I done that? 

Interestingly enough, Beauty and the Beast is about judging and labeling.  Belle was "odd".  Her dad was "Crazy Old Maurice".  The beast  actually acted like a beast until he changed inside .  In the end we see his physical transformation.  We learn that behind the labels and outward appearances are real human beings with feelings and a need for love just like us.

So, I hope the next time I come across a similar situation,  I will not label him as the "Crazy old Homeless Man".  I will see him as a child of God and I will act in a way that emulates the Savior:  With love and kindness to the "One".
Please listen to my new unofficial theme song by Janice Kapp Perry:

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love"  Mother Teresa

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