Ronald Davis is homeless and living on the streets of Chicago. In this video clip he shares how he feels about the way other people treat him.

“No matter what people think about me, I know I’m a human first.”

When we see people like Mr. Davis on the streets our first tendency is often to wonder how he got into this situation or what, if anything, can be done to help him out of his plight. But Davis shows there is an even deeper need that is as powerful and as urgent as food or shelter: the need to be treated with dignity.

All too often we see the Ronald Davis’ of the world and our thoughts turn to big-picture policy questions (e.g., What can be done about homelessness in America?). But while such concerns should motivate us to find responsible solutions, that shouldn’t necessarily be our first thought when we are face to face with the men and women in our world like Davis.

We can think about the “homeless problem” when we’re in our cars or at our desks. While we’re on the street, confronted with a cup-shaking panhandler, we should be wondering how we can show them that we recognize their dignity. We should seek to let them know we realize they too were made in the image of Creator of the universe. We need to show them that whatever else they’ve lost—job, home, family—they still have their dignity. And that no matter what we might think of them, we know they’re a human first.

(Via: 22 Words)


  • Anil Jacob

    Had Jesus been here physically, He would certainly not have treated this gentleman down on his fortune with anything but compassion and practical assistance. As Carter stated (correctly) in his piece, the first thing we think about is a ‘macro’ solution but in every instance, we need to first react by seeing the people as people for whom our Saviour came to die on the Cross.

  • Samuel

    How can I get in contact with him to send him some clothes and maybe money?!

  • http://twitter.com/Reticulator The Reticulator

    I have much more sympathy for his panhandling than for the Next AutoWorks kind.

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  • CoastRanger

    “[We] should be wondering how we can show them that we recognize their
    dignity. We should seek to let them know we realize they too were made
    in the image of Creator of the universe. We need to show them that
    whatever else they’ve lost—job, home, family—they still have their
    dignity. And that no matter what we might think of them, we know they’re
    a human first”

    Those are worthy sentiments, but please give us some idea how.

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