Picture a homeless guy sitting in the street, with a little cup out to accept donations of money. He’s not doing very well with it, sadly; most people just walk on by. Then someone walks up, sits down, and asks if he can borrow the man’s bucket for a few minutes. Suddenly, trying to raise a little money for one meal, or maybe just a single night in a hotel room with a real bed, gets considerably easier.
Sound too good to be true? Three German students did just this for one homeless man on the streets. They made a little music, got some more money, and then, when it was over, they gave all the money to the man and thanked him for letting them borrow his bucket for a few minutes.
The world needs more people like this. More people who care, more people who will help the downtrodden, and fewer people who will assume that the homeless person will just use the money to buy booze or drugs.
Here in America, and possibly in Europe and elsewhere in the industrialized world, we’ve learned to minimize the homeless, to the point of trying to legislate them away in many places. They’re blights that we need to get rid of, not actual people that might need some help. People are homeless for many reasons, but we sit in our warm homes, with food in our bellies, and decide, without knowing any of them, that they’re somehow less deserving, and less capable, than the people we do know. (Note: Obviously not all people are this judgmental. There are lots of helpful, caring people in the world. But enough do feel this way, and the laws rendering homeless people invisible are an example of that.)
Most of us don’t even have an idea of how difficult homelessness can be. As this Cracked writer said of his experience, it’s really hard, even if you do have a job.
What these three students did was but a small gesture, but enough small gestures add up to lots of help. This man looked both surprised and grateful for what the students did, and it is truly uplifting to see. Watch the whole video here: