exception: someone or something that is different from others : someone or something that is not included.
As a young child I would stay up late watching the 700 club in our small town. I would see the commercial breaks of the orphans, the hungry, the hurting, the exceptions. My heart would break, and at a tender age, I would want to help help them. But I didn’t know how.
So, I would talk to people. Any people. Any one. Even animals. I attempted to bring home all the strays, and would confront any stranger and ask questions. Any question. Talking to strangers of all walks of life has never been a struggle for me, because I realized at a young age, we are all in need, we have all hurt. We all have something in common, we all wanted to know love and be loved.
To this day, every homeless person with a sign, the person who’s standing back from the crowd, a child who doesn’t smile, catches my eye, my heart.
We’ve been tainted. Violence that was to an extent, always there but now publicized throughout social media and the news. Drug addicts who are seeking for an escape or to fix their body’s craving for it’s now dependence. Those who are depressed that we think should be institutionalized. Those who self harm or push others away by any sort of means, we put at a distance to be careful, while what they need is to be kept close and loved. We second guess giving a needy person money because they might just use that on drugs or alcohol. Yes, they might, but they also may not. What if money isn’t the fix anyways? Why can’t we stop and talk? Treat them as the human that they are. There’s wisdom in safety, yes. But I’ve realized that even by my own fears that once were never there, it has been tainted.
There was a study done at a nearby college once. They brought in a few who were currently homeless and those who were no longer homeless. They asked them about their experience seeking help. They shared the hurt, the passing, the judgements, the foul language, and the dirty looks. But the worst of all, wasn’t that they were called names or judged, it was by the ones who didn’t even look their way, didn’t care to notice. They weren’t seen. Why exist? They talked about those who gave money and how they’d use it. But what meant the most to them, was those who stopped and talked. Who looked them in the eye, who shook their hand,…who noticed them. That’s what gave them courage. Gave them a purpose.
Truth be told, it doesn’t take much to become homeless, depressed, or insecure. A lost job, a divorce, a chemical imbalance, a pregnancy even, or bad experiences. We are allowed to be human.
We have one life to live. I’d rather use mine to love. There are no exceptions.