I Can’t Wait

I can’t wait for someone else to fix the ‘system’, to feed the homeless and hungry, to really listen to the addict, or to to do whatever needs to be done. I know that tonight there will be someone outside, homeless and cold. I don’t care why they’re homeless or what issues they may be dealing with. They’re hungry and they’re a member of my community.

That is totally unacceptable in this wealthy, beautiful, highly political city of Ottawa, Canada.

Tonight I’m going to McDonald’s to buy a whole bunch of value burgers, full of much needed protein, fat, and even a smile (I get pretty excited about McD’s- who doesn’t?). Maybe before McDonald’s I’ll stop at the grocer’s and pick up a case of pop. The whole kit might cost me 25 bucks and feed a dozen homeless people.

I am going to start with me- with what I can do, here, now- and create a better tomorrow for me and for my neighbor who lives outside. I am going to head downtown tonight and hand out happy food- pop and burgers. Changing the whole system might be too big for one person to do, but that is a sad excuse for doing nothing. Just because they’re on the street, doesn’t mean they don’t need our compassion TODAY.

Most people on the street are dealing with mental health and addictions issues. I’m sure if any of my readers encountered them in a hospital setting and they asked for help, they’d stop and help out however they could. You might consider looking into the ratios of mental health and addictions beds available to the number of those suffering from these issues- THEN consider ignoring someone’s plea for help when you encounter them on the street.

Tonight, I’m taking an hour of my time and less money than I might spend eating out with a single friend, and I’m feeding a dozen people, without judging them or requiring they meet certain criteria to receive my attention and help.

You can wait for someone else to take care of it, and change the system someday- maybe. I’m going to start with me- here, now.

7 thoughts on “I Can’t Wait

    • Thank you, Kozo. I’ve expressed my hopes on my Facebook profile that my friends will one-up me, and I hope they do.

      I’ve thought about starting a conversation. This is actually the third time I’m doing this. Trust is a big deal for many down there- especially females. I don’t want anyone to suspect or gossip about ulterior motives. I’ve decided to be passive about communication. I have a few points about solidarity and community prepared when someone asks why I’m doing this, but that’s all. So far, when I’ve done this, the people *seem* far more interested in getting some nourishment into them than why I’m handing out the food. I’ve overheard a few people commenting among themselves that I must be a staff from a local agency. I’m eager for a chance to tell them I’m just a neighbor, but I don’t want to push for the chance to say it.

  1. I think you are totally amazing for doing this. For stepping out of your comfort zone to make a stranger more comfortable. For spending precious moments of your day caring for a brief moment about someone else you don’t know. For doing whatever you can when you can, that’s what makes a difference. Sometimes, it isn’t the great grand sweeping gestures, it’s lots of smaller ones done by nameless individuals who give what they can when they can. You brought happiness to others and that is a grand deed in itself. Thank you for being part of the human race and daring to care. Peace.

    • Thank YOU.

      “A part of the human race”- I like that idea. If I abandon my humanity and turn a blind eye to suffering, can I really count myself as human? as a member of our great family? No, being part of this great human family/race means caring for each other, like any family does. I think we’re all brothers and sisters, and if the brother I grew up with were hungry in the street, I could never just pass him by. No more lip service to that idea for me- if you’re my brother or sister and you’re hungry or homeless, I will treat you like my family- like you deserve.

  2. Really great thing to do!
    Sometimes i get a spare coffee for a Big Issue seller, and then we may have a brief chat. I’ve never done anything like you though!

    • Having a brief chat with someone who is struggling with anything is just as important as feeding a hungry person, I think. When I’m struggling, it is having someone’s ear, and knowing they care, that is the most important thing for me. When I feel alone, it is very easy for me to feel defeated. If someone let’s me know they’re with me in some way, lending me support and encouragement, I feel stronger, and better able to get myself through my problems.

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