During a radio interview the other day the host asked me: “So what now? How has your life changed after Ten Days Without? How do you keep the momentum going and keep taking care of the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and in prison?” (Matthew 25)
I thought that was a great question, and a few others have asked me that too. So here’s my answer.
I don’t see life the same way I did before coming up with Ten Days Without. In the past I did not think about about poverty and human trafficking. I didn’t care about prisoners. And I didn’t know any naked people (that sounds weird, let’s try this instead). I didn’t know anyone who didn’t have clothes. The only group of people I sometimes felt guilty about were the homeless people who stood at the red-light with a cardboard sign asking for money. But I didn’t know how to help them.
Ten Days Without changed my perspective on what it means to make a difference in the world, and what it means to help people. Through the different experiments and lots of research I realized something pretty revolutionary–this is going to change your life too–ready?
When you see someone who needs help, help them! Don’t try to figure it out. Just do it. It’s not that complicated. Helping people is only complicated because we make it complicated. If you don’t know how to help someone, think to yourself, “If I was in that same position, what would help me?”
I did this just a few weeks ago around noon. I was driving down the road, and I came to a red light. There on the corner was a guy with a cardboard sign. I didn’t know what to do. I mean what can you do when the person who needs help is a stranger–open up the passenger-side door and give him a ride? What if he has a gun, shoots me in the back of my head, and steals my car? You may think this is funny, but those thoughts really did go through my head. And then it hit me, “If that was me–if I was on the street holding a sign–what would I appreciate the most?”
So I rolled down the window and asked him to go to lunch with me, and he said yes. It was fun. I found out that his name was John, and that he lived in a tent behind Whole Foods. We talked about his family. We talked about his dreams of going back to college. And we had a really good time–all because I took a chance, and treated him the way I would want to be treated.
You can do it. You can make a huge difference in the world, just by looking for opportunities to help people who need help.
Why do you think that helping people is so intimidating? Comment below and continue the discussion…