A New Plague Hits School Campuses

The university I attended had a smaller undergraduate population than my high school. This meant that everyone practically knew everyone else.

This also meant that everyone knew an unfamiliar face. There were the easy ones (e.g. George W. Bush, Regis Philbin, Tom Brokaw, etc). However, there were also the not-so-easy ones. One in particular comes to mind.

He was homeless. He was dressed in a full mechanic outfit, with a windbreaker on his torso, and a beanie on his head. He was old. His white hair was stringy, and came straight out of that flimsy winter hat. He walked slow and with a hobble. He was all of this, and he hung out on campus. I couldn’t tell you how he talked or how he used gestures, because I (regrettably) avoided him like the plague.

Then, in the middle of one of our daily university assemblies, this man gave everyone in the room a shock. For the program, we were waiting to see who or what would come out from behind the curtain while a narrator spoke off-stage. As the dialogue progressed, this man came into the room, slowly hobbled from the back of the auditorium to the front of the stage, and then proceeded onto the stage!

As the narrator continued to speak, the man on stage took off his beanie, and turned to face the audience. That’s when we realized that the narrator was the homeless guy. The homeless guy, was one of my professors. He revealed that it was all an experiment to see how he would be treated.

Let me encourage you not to live with the same regret. Make the simple switch, and seek out one person who is ‘untouchable’ in your school. For if someone comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in someone poor in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

I know you don’t intend to be mean or live with regrets…just get to know that person. It changed my life. It will change yours.

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