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Deeds of the Heart

by Denecia Andrews about a year ago in humanity
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Compassion At It's Best

Volunteers Do Not Necessarily Have The Time; They Just Have The Heart

-Elizabeth Andrew-

As I sit here and write this, all sorts of ideas are swarming through my head. I’ve thought about how to start this article off with a catchy sentence, or some funny picture. Instead, I decided on that quote you see there at the top. You’re probably wondering why out of all the quotes I could have chosen, I settled on this one. Well, it’s really simple. The quote actually speaks for itself. We carry on in our everyday lives, not really giving much thought to anything else. Most of us are routine schedules, and dare not let anything detour you from it. We are so engulfed in our own problems and lifestyles, that we don’t understand that things could be much worse. I’m pretty sure most of us have heard that several times over. Well, you know what? Get used to it. It’s the truth, plain and simple.

When I’m riding along in my car, I often see men and women on the side of expressways holding up signs saying “Hungry and Homeless” or “Will Work For Food”. I often wonder what happened in their lives for them to get to that point. Most people will tell me, that they are just lazy and don’t want to work, or it’s due to the choices they’ve made in their lives. While a bit of that may be true, it’s not their entire story. I’d like to think something a bit more traumatic happened either emotionally, physically or financially. Whatever the case may be for them, I have a strict no judgement zone policy in my aura. I don’t judge anyone for any of the choices they make. Maybe they felt it was the best one or maybe it could have been the only one. Either way the choice had to be made, so they did what they had to.

Before this thought process came along, I used to think that most less fortunate people were just out to get money without having to actually work. My thought process changed after reading this book by one of my favorite authors. One of the characters met a homeless guy standing on the side of the expressway. She needed a man for the time being to impress her friend. In the midst of her using this guy for a pawn in her scheme, she actually got to know the guy. She quickly found out that he was homeless by force. He used everything he had on his wife’s cancer treatments. She eventually passed. After paying all the medical bills, he had nothing left. He was so far behind on bills, that he couldn’t afford to keep up with payments. He lost everything. He had no family left to help him as he and his wife didn’t have any children. Needless to say, she eventually fell in love with this guy and went on to marry him. What started as a scheme, turned into a happily ever after. (Please note, the book I am referencing is fictional. I do not recommend anyone do this in real life for safety reasons).

After reading that, my outlook on the less fortunate became totally different. Although that book is fictional, this could very well be someone’s truth. You honestly don’t know. With that being said, I try to help others as much as I can. Whether it’s simply giving someone a dollar or just some words of encouragement. I do what I can when I can. I’m often told that my kindness can also be my downfall. When people say that, I take it with a grain of salt. I refuse to be a person that acts as if people can’t become a victim of life.

One day, I called my mom and I told her that God had spoken to me. She asked me what he said, and I told her that he asked me to do something that would benefit others. At the time, I couldn’t quite figure out what he meant or what I was supposed to do. A few days later, he came to me and told me what to do. I went to the store and grabbed 20 shoe boxes and filled them up with necessities. From toothbrushes, lotions, soaps, to underwear, socks, deodorant. I even put chips and drinks in there. I considered gift cards, but God didn’t tell me to do that. I wanted to stick with the plan. We filled them all and drove down to the part of the city where most of the less fortunate people congregated. We passed them out to everyone. This is the first time I’m even telling anyone I did this. No, I’m not embarrassed or ashamed. When I do stuff for people, I don’t look for applause. I don’t want accolades or praise or recognition. This was something I felt needed to be done.

What people fail to realize is, while you’re gaining recognition, you’re also degrading the person you’re helping. If someone wanted their business all over social media, they would do it themselves. The mere fact that they even have to ask for help is degrading enough, why add to it. I will never understand the folks who do this. Being kind and helping other people should be done because it’s something you truly, purely and sincerely want to do. It shouldn’t be done for praise. It shouldn’t be done for attention.

Another thing I do, every Sunday, if I’m able to, I buy an extra meal and give it away. If I see someone on the street walking or holding a sign, I ask them first. If they decline, I don’t push the issue. If they accept, I happily oblige. It makes me feel good, knowing that this person doesn’t have to worry about where their next meal will be coming from. For all I know, that meal may last them a few days. At the end of the day I feel content, knowing that this person can sleep better at night because their hunger is one less thing they have to worry about.

When we think of selfless acts or good deeds, we should keep them as just that. We shouldn’t humiliate others for our own social fame. If you’re going to do something for someone, just do it. I’m always the person my friends go to when they need advice or words of encouragement. They know whatever they tell me will stay with me. They also know that my help is just that. It’s no ulterior motive behind it or any type of publicity stunt. It’s pure and sincere.


About the author

Denecia Andrews

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