I recently returned from a week-long trip to Rome. While there are homeless people and beggars in France as well, I guess I never felt as compassionate toward them because they are kind of “part of the picture.” But being on vacation, seeing them while I was enjoying myself and eating out and not doing anything about it made me feel a little guilty, to be honest. I’m not the kind of person who gives loads of money to people on the street, especially when said people are sometimes really aggressive (yes, I almost got spat on once when I refused to give cash to a woman wearing a fake baby-belly). Other times when I feel like people aren’t making a show of themselves, I’ll give because they do genuinely need it.

But anyway, we were in Rome and one night walked past a lady who was sleeping on the steps of a building, with some stuff next to her. And I thought to myself that it would be really nice if I had something to put next to her, so that she’d wake up in the morning to a nice surprise. But I didn’t have anything to give that night. However, the next day we found a rose sitting on a water fountain, so we took it and decided to give it to someone who looked sad or alone. And you know what the really sad part about it was? For once we were actually prepared to light up someone’s evening, but did not manage to find someone who looked like he needed it. Which in itself is a good thing, but it was sad to see the rose go to waste.

Last week someone sent me this video of two young men out on a mission to make homeless people smile.

It was refreshing to see that people make the effort to bring happiness to others by simple kindness of spirit. I thought it was a brilliant idea to get them food, money, and clothes – the three things apart from a home of course, which they need the most. I’ve made a pledge to devote more time and money to these kind of endeavours when I have an actual job at which I make actual money. I’m fortunate enough to have all the necessities that allow me to smile – human contact, a house, etc. – so it’s time to spread the love.