It has been shown time and again that we feel more compassion for an individual than for a group of people. But now we are seeing a slightly different dynamic. Why do we feel more compassionate to a homeless man who plays the piano brilliantly than to a 90-year-old man who has been arrested three times for feeding the homeless?

In both cases, the plight of the homeless is at the center of the controversy. Yes, this particular homeless pianist has been through hell and back, but he is still homeless, although that is about to change with the gofundme campaign on behalf of this man with a monetary goal of $ 50,000 to buy him a house. , a car and the license plate. the three classes you need to complete your music theory degree.

I have deep compassion for this man, but no more than I do for the hundreds of homeless and hungry people who gather on a Fort Lauderdale beach every Wednesday night at 5:30 pm to be fed by a 90-year-old man, who does not ask for donations from anyone, and whose only crime is trying to eliminate hunger in his community.

It’s strange to see people running to the aid of people who have been hit by a natural disaster, or those whose houses have burned down, or children who are sick and dying and want one last thing before they die, and then they see these same people who commit a crime feed the homeless or even become homeless.

Some cities have even made it a crime for homeless people to sleep in their cars or on the street. A city even makes it a crime to smell bad on city property. And yes, homeless people can smell bad if they don’t have access to showers and washing machines and the clothes they are wearing are the only clothes they have.

In many cities, it is illegal to sit or lie on sidewalks, rummage through garbage cans, feed the homeless without written permission, sleep in public, ask for help, not just for money, and some cities even have a line direct to report homeless people asking for money on city property.

Where are these benefactors who make speeches about the elimination of poverty and then make it a crime to become impoverished? Where are the politicians who make passionate speeches about helping those in need and then enact laws to penalize these same people for being needy?

This is definitely a world gone crazy when we can punish our neighbors for sleeping in their cars because they don’t have a home, but we can rush to help people in other countries who are in the same circumstances.

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