How do you perceive homeless people?
A story out of Boston today raises the question. A homeless man found a woman's wallet. A homeless man found it and returned it, which is what got the headlines in the city.
But perhaps the story was actually in the last sentence of the story:
Susan Clancy regrets not knowing the man's name, but said his honesty
has changed the way she perceives people living on the street.
Why is it news when a homeless person commits an act of honesty?
A more important question than why when a homeless man does something honest gets to be news is.... what did the woman give the homeless man to help him? I could care less that her "views" on homeless people have changed. Would it be not surprising at all if the homeless man kept the wallet?
"Would it be not surprising at all if the homeless man kept the wallet?"
Yes, it would not be surprising at all. For most non-homeless people, we can't imagine living on the streets unless there was absolutely no other option. When we project homelessness on ourselves, we imagine a state of absolute desperation where we would do whatever it took to scrape up a buck. "Finders keepers, losers weepers" is how the vast majority of us would act if we were in that situation, so that is what we expect of others.
The delusion that others are different from us enables fear & hatred.