In the middle of the center of a major metropolis such as New York City a person can encounter a great deal of things. One thing that is often encountered would be individuals that are homeless. Picture a child, perhaps in his early teens, standing in the middle of this conglomeration of shopping malls and people passing by. He is freezing and starving and doesn’t have any shoes on his feet. How would you respond? Because it’s something that a lot of New Yorkers see every day, many of them just passed him by without giving it a second thought. However, let me fill you in on something. The child is not really homeless. It’s simply a social experiment to see how people would react. Although it took a few hours, someone finally did. This is an account of that.
As the adolescent child holds up his sign, which says “hungry, please help” you can see the desperation in his eyes and you cannot help but notice the stark detail that he is out in the freezing New York City cold clad only in white socks. As the child struggles to keep warm, he notices the apathy that most of the public is showing and how some are not even noticing him. Dejected, the child takes his garbage bag and gets into it, in a rather feeble attempt to warm himself with it and use it as a blanket. Although some do look over at him, most continue on their way as the young child lays there on the frozen concrete.
After two hours freezing in the New York City streets, the child is literally convulsing and seized with raspy and shaking breaths. Finally, someone does approach. An African-American male sits down where the child is and asks him, “What’s wrong little brother? Why are you out here all by yourself?” The child tells him that his parents abandoned him when he was seven. The man asks the child if he is cold and then gives him his jacket and then gives him a little amount of money to get something to eat.
If the story ended there it would be touching enough. However, something really shocking happens next.
Without even looking around, the man says to the boy, “You know, little brother, I could show you the ropes. I’m homeless too. I’ve screwed up and it’s all my fault. But you’re too young to be out here.”
Now remember, this child that is freezing in 5-degree weather in the New York City streets isn’t really homeless. However, the man who stopped to help doesn’t know that. He is approached by the older brothers of the actor and rewarded handsomely for his kindness. This social experiment, which was shown on Ock TV, illustrates an important truth:
“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, then you will end up doing nothing for nobody.”