Going Homeless for the Homeless

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  • A few weeks back, you may recall I gave a ‘Wish List’ for this New Year.

    Two of these items are particularly relevant given the headlines of the past week.  One, was my wish that Democrats and Republicans could finally realize that our suffering country is much more important than their petty squabbles, private perks, or corporate backers.

    Needless to say, given the recent negotiations surrounding the Fiscal Cliff crisis, that one ain’t happening anytime soon.

    But there’s still hope; if not with politics, then with people because I also had on my list the wish that we could cherish our families, our children and the sanctity of life even more than we do now.

    And for those who’ve heard about the remarkably humane and purpose-filled act of Los Angeles lawyer, Tony Tolbert, you’ll know some of us are taking the sanctity of life pretty seriously.

    Tolbert recently gave up his fully-furnished home in L.A. to a homeless family to live in for a year, rent-free, as they get back on their feet.

    The 51 year-old attorney―who credits his father’s generosity as his example, and who justifies his act by saying it was simply the right thing to do―will move back in with his mother for the year.

    Tolbert found the single-mother family he is giving his house to in a local shelter. The mother had no money and could not provide for her four children; and her oldest, due to shelter age limits, was not allowed to stay with the family at the shelter.

    Talk about incredible acts of giving. Seriously, how many of us would give up our own home to complete strangers for their well-being?

    Yes, I know there are some folks out there right now who are saying, “That’s crazy… as hard as I worked to get my house in the first place? That’s not gonna happen…”

    Well maybe not, but I think the real point behind such remarkable acts of generosity is what Tolbert told CBS news, that quote-unquote, “You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah… We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have…”

    You see, generosity flows in many forms… some of us may decide to share our homes with families in need; some may mentor youth; others might feed the homeless, volunteer at a shelter, or share a special skill.

    The point is, offer what you can.

    Extraordinary people like Tony Tolbert remind us what is possible, what we are capable of.

    I’ll leave you with these words from Tolbert himself:

    “Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love. And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world.”

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