He moved aside as I paid for my red bull with one of the 20s in my wallet and I went on my way. The interaction struck me- and a bit hard. Earlier today I had told someone how cool I thought it was that we lived in a country where an "economic crisis" has little to no effect on its people. He rightly corrected me- I was among a group of the "lucky ones". It was a passing comment- but he was right. Poverty is in Santa Monica, California. Poverty is in Fairfield, Connecticut. You don't have to look that far. So what do we do?
I wrestled with this question as I drove off. And though I don't necessarily have the complete answer to the question, I have some of it.
First- spend money in a way that automatically impacts others. Serendipitously, today, my friend, Josh Tetrick, launched 33needs - a crowdsourcing social venture funding platform. He's got a group of companies on there committed to impacting the world for good- and we can be a part of their story. Not through donations, but through investing our money. Interesting, huh?
Second- keep your eyes open and tell the story of those you see. Dialogue keeps us aware and alert and thus, more equipped to make wise decisions when the opportunity for action arises.
Third- get involved, please. Help at a local soup kitchen, volunteer for a pet adoption event, go to a town meeting when funding decisions are being made that affect the poor. Just be present, be engaged.
And finally- pray. Pray for the people you see on the streets. Learn their names, their stories. Be active in that. It's your call. It's my call.
We were not made to walk through this life with our eyes and hearts closed. So would you open yours?