On Monday, as I sat with my mentee she began telling a story about a homeless man to one of her classmates who was sitting at the table with us.  The story went something like this. 

She was walking to Subway and saw a homeless man holding up a sign which read “I’m Hungry”.  She said after she came back out the man kept pointing to his sign and yelling he was hungry.  Instead of just walking by, she said she went up to him and said, “I realize you are hungry, I’m not.  Just wanted to let you know my food was delicious. Yummm.”  I was dead-panned.  I was like you’re kidding right?  She said no.  Her rationale was she said it because he kept yelling that he was hungry.  Then she had the nerve to say she was offended when the homeless man called her a smart ass.

After listening to her story and watching her and her little friend laugh, I immediately asked her why she would even say that.  I even tried to have her empathize with the man who was obviously homeless and hungry but she just kept laughing like it was all a big joke.  It just made me sad and disgusted that she felt saying that was even the least bit appropriate. 

Things like that just make me question what is wrong with our society?  I could NEVER even imagine saying something like that to someone who was clearly disadvantaged.  All she had to do was walk by, no smart alect comments were needed.  If she wanted to help his cause she could’ve saved a piece of her sandwich or bought him a bag of chips.  How can people be so heartless?  I’ve never been homeless or even close, but I’ve always had a compassionate spirit and am selfless when it comes to helping others.  I just don’t understand how others don’t care about anyone but themselves.

While I enjoy being a mentor, that was the last straw for me.  I think after this school year I’m going to go back to focusing my efforts on working with the elderly.  These kids are something else and I feel like I’m not getting through to them.  When I work with seniors it is so much more rewarding and they are so appreciative when you spend even a short amount of time with them.  I’m truly fearful for the next generation.  How can so-called young, innocent children be so heartless?  

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