Friday, May 17, 2013


As I walk down the streets of downtown Salt Lake City, I see many homeless people on the streets. Many of whom stand on the same corner everyday and ask for money.  I realized that I have grown up with this idea that homeless people are ALL lazy, dirty, smelly people who don't try to make it in life by finding a job.  Once I noticed this, I decided I needed to fix this idea and put it into a different perspective.

 Society has taught us to hate and look down upon people who are different then us. But this is not what the Savior has taught us. He taught us to love one another despite our differences.  We are all unique and we all have trials we are facing. Who are we to judge a person by the way their life "seems" to be.  We have to look under the surface to really see the person they really are.

I am one who notices pretty much everything. I'm an observer and I know when a person is looking down on me. When I was pregnant, I would go shopping in the grocery store and noticed almost everyone looking at my tummy and never at my face. I became self conscience about wearing my wedding ring so that no one would assume I got pregnant out of wedlock. Every where I went I felt like I was being judged. As a pregnant woman you become very self conscious of what others are thinking of you and it just makes you feel worse about yourself.

President Dieter  F. Uchtdorf has said a phrase that has stuck everyday as I see and meet other people. He said : "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you do."
We tend to judge people immediately, whether it is a negative or a positive thought we judge them as we see them.  When I meet someone new or if someone cuts me off on the road or whatever, I try to look at the positive and give them the benefit of the doubt.

For these homeless people more often than not they are people who are struggling emotionally, mentally and physically.  One person may have a disability in which case their family didn't want to take care of them any more and they ended up on the street. In other cases they may have been abused as a teenager and struggling to find a way to learn principles that will help them make it through life.  You never know the circumstance of a person.  It is not our place to judge whether a person is lazy and just won't try in life or not.  Give them the benefit of the doubt. In deciding who to help and who to not I try to listen to the spirit.  If I feel the need to give some money to someone I do it, if not I leave it to fast offerings and tithing.

Yesterday I saw a homeless man with a sign that said "You are beautiful." That put a smile on my face and made me feel so good. Like this man, many homeless people are just looking for love and a friendly smile.   You never know the difference you can make. Share a smile or a friendly wave.  You will brighten someones me! :)

1 comment:

  1. Love Dieter's quote. It's SOOO good to remember this. We all sin equally in God's eyes. My thinking of the homeless has changed too. I now try to bring a sandwich to people I see on the streets. There is a mix of truly disabled and those who have learned to take advantage of helpers. Only God knows the difference and I believe he sorts that out in the end. That's not my job.
    from The Dugout