I wonder in my mind where the man I just met would spend Christmas. Is there perhaps a warm place even for him on a day like this? I wonder if the little I gave him will make any difference for the better. There are many who think that it won't. I know. And sometimes I wonder if I actually assist in cementing such people to the cold concrete with a paper cup in hand. Maybe such problems should be resolved at a higher level. But until the solutions to the big problems are more than just pretty words, pleading eyes remain on our streets with a hope for hand-outs that can make a difference in their lives.
It strikes me that regardless of status and position in life, we basically are all beggars. Are we not all dependent on the universe every day to bring us health, protection, work and good relations that we might be comfortable? Are we not all dependent on both the sun and the rain to give us life-growing power on the planet we share? Is there really any day you can wake up and take for granted that no tragedy or hardship might hit to you?
What guarantees do we have that the roles might not one day be reversed? That it might be you and I who sit with a paper cup in hand? Or maybe we are already there, that we are in fact more dependent on the mercy of the universe than the poor man on the street. That the lack of empathy might constitute the greatest condition of poverty of them all. For over two thousand years ago, a child was born into the world whose birth we celebrate today. If I in my weakness hesitate in how I deal with the man on the street, I can always think about how such individuals were met by the man who is the foundation to the Christmas message of peace on earth.
"For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" (Mosiah 4:19, The Book of Mormon)
Are we not all beggars? by Jeffrey Holland