"Should I give to a homeless person, or not?" I don't know why I struggled with this decision, but when I lived in Manhattan back in the late 80's, I was told by friends, to ignore panhandlers, as they were dangerous. Saying "no" became automatic. Later on, I found myself living temporarily in Chattanooga, TN, waiting tables. I worked downtown, and there were a lot of homeless in the area. One day, an elderly homeless woman came up to me and asked for money. I was late for work, and said, "I can't." Truth be told, I was pretty broke at that time, but could have quickly dug out some spare change. I felt really bad in my heart about saying "no", and I asked my spirit guides for advice. I was told, if someone asks me for money, then give it, but only if they ask. If they ask for a specific amount, give that. I promised to do it. The next day, I was on lunch break, walking around downtown Chatty, and a young man, probably around the age of 21, approached me. We were alone on the street. He was wearing a backpack, and as I was walking by, he said, "Do you have any change? I need bus fare to get home." I said, "No, I don't", and kept walking. I had taken no more than two steps, when I remembered my promise, and immediately turned around. The man was nowhere in sight. Literally one point one seconds had passed, and he wasn't there. There was nowhere for him to go, or to hide. He didn't have time to walk away. It was then, that I realized only one thing could have happened. He had vanished into thin air. There was no other explanation. I was not on drugs, and my eyesight was fine.
After that experience, I always made sure to give to those who asked me. I didn't discriminate or think about what they would do with the money. If they bought drugs, then I would assume they needed them, and it was their only way of coping, short of maybe, suicide. I could easily imagine myself in their position. I also couldn't imagine it. I couldn't imagine trying to "get a job", as so many advise, when you are that low, and at that level of depression and loss. So I continued to give. What I got in return was priceless. The giving gave me peace.
Anyone have thoughts on the young man or his message?
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When practicing forgiveness, I follow the path taught in A Course in Miracles, where one is forgiving and letting go, by recognizing that nothing has been done. If one acknowledges that something has been done, then sin is made real; but the unreal does not exist. When we focus on what is not real, we stay trapped in this illusion of time and space. Doing forgiveness begins to erase certain experiences of our past. In turn, there are certain events in the future that one no longer has to go through, or learn the lesson. So forgiveness could be said to collapse time. As the past and future are gradually dissolved, one is left with only the present moment. It is from here that true power exists. It is from here that one reaches enlightenment and a state of ecstatic joy. It is here that one is home, has awakened from the dream, and can then choose to return mind to the Source, or stay to help others come home.