TRANSFORMING PERSPECTIVES: A LESSON IN EMPATHY AND COMPASSION
JULY 13, 2023
Discovering a Newfound PassionAs I embarked on my journey to help the homeless, I found myself becoming more aware of those who seemed to be in need. Previously, I had often overlooked or even judged the individuals I saw on street corners. It wasn't until a life-changing personal experience – a near-death encounter with a brain tumor – that my perspective shifted.
This drastic wake-up call made me realize that we all have our own battles, and I became grateful for the positive outcome of my own.A Chance Encounter in Downtown PhoenixOne day, as I drove to my office in downtown Phoenix, I noticed a woman sitting in front of an old strip mall, her face reflecting immense grief. Nearby, a young boy was exploring his surroundings, his disheveled appearance suggesting a difficult life. Compelled to help, I pulled over with a goodie bag intended for a homeless person, only to discover that their situation was far from what I had initially assumed.The Power of Genuine ConnectionIt's difficult to describe the depth of the exchange that took place between us, but the genuine concern I expressed was wholeheartedly received.
This encounter reminded me of how a true connection can completely alter one's outlook on life.Challenging First Impressions and AssumptionsIt's all too easy to make assumptions based on appearances, and unfortunately, degradation is a common aspect of human nature – one that I am not exempt from. One might assume the woman and child were alcoholics, drug addicts, or uneducated, based solely on their outward appearance.