I am just thrilled today to invite a blogger who I truly admire for the first "Christmas Around the World" Coffee Chat. It's not simply her blog, or her amazing writing skills, that captured my interest; but how evident her heart for humanity shone through in her writings. As I mentioned in my previous Coffee Chat, for me, the holidays truly should be a Giving Season. Today's guest truly exemplifies living, and giving, with humility.
Please welcome Brenda from Fiction With A Purpose .
I have to say that I was floored when RoryBore asked me to be a guest blogger on her Coffee Chat for Giving. And then even more so when she wanted me to discuss how I go about doing something each and every week for the less fortunate amongst us. So let me start out by thanking all of you for even taking the time to read this post. . . it means a great deal to me because in this great big world that we all share I have a simple belief really. That is that it takes just as much work to do something mean, as it does to do something nice. And wouldn’t it be so much better if all the people turned all of the negativity that they carry around with them into positivity?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with me or what I do…I go out every Saturday morning – rain or shine – and feed the homeless in Downtown Los Angeles. Now, I don’t do this by myself. I work with a wonderful organization – the Missionaries of Charity. They were founded by Mother Teresa and you can find out all sorts of information about them if you’d like – but the most fun way to find out about them is probably by reading my book Sorrowed Souls – because that is how I found out about them.
You see, I have three children and I wanted to teach them not everyone is fortunate enough to have a roof over their heads and food on their table. In fact, when they were young and I had left their father, they ate macaroni and cheese (nope not Kraft – the real stuff – it’s cheaper!) every night – and they thought it was great! If they were lucky I’d put hot dogs in it! Anyway, life managed to run away with their young lives and I never got around to getting to show them what life was like on the streets; but I always wanted to see it, and write about it. So . . . I found the Brothers with this organization and tagged along. I never left! (And I’m not Catholic!)
What I found is that:
1. Not everyone has the stomach to be able to handle going out and mingling with ‘those’ people.
2. I never had the notion that ‘those’ people were any different than I was.
3. I always thought they just had a run of bad luck.
4. I have never not looked one person straight in the face and asked them how they are doing.
5. All people deserve the respect to be treated as human beings.
6. If for one minute you think that a homeless person is lazy – you should try to live on the streets!
7. I am not saying that there are not drug addicts and sick people out there as well – there are; but we as a society need to figure out a better way to handle this situation!
The homeless situation was out of control when I started to write Sorrowed Souls in 2008 – it is so much worse now than it was then! I often say we are all just one paycheck away from most of them… and in many, many cases that is true.
There is nothing like the face of a man, woman or child who has seen despair and then has nowhere to go. The least we can do as people is treat them with respect. I have gotten to the point where I carry water in my car so that when I see someone on the side of the street I offer them a bottle. Who couldn’t use a bottle of water? Don’t teach your children to be afraid of them. And please don’t teach your children to taunt them. Humility and humanity go hand in hand.
Thank you so much Brenda for sharing something that is so close to your heart with us. I know I made a crazy Mama Wants It List on the blog yesterday, but that was all in good fun. (okay fine, I really wouldn't mind the shoes and the trip.) Like Brenda, I find since I had children I am more aware of the many blessings in my life. My deepest and most sincere wish for them is to leave them a world that no longer groans in pain. So I must be the change. And then I will pass the torch to them to hold high before them.
Please show my wonderful guest Brenda some comment love here, and then go check out Fiction with A Purpose . If you have an avid reader on your holiday shopping list....I am certain you will find something good there!