Personal Narrative- Joy in Helping the Homeless Essay

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Personal Narrative- Joy in Helping the Homeless

America's strong heritage with regard to allowing its citizens the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" has brought about a mindset that each person should work for his own benefit and personal pleasure. While there is nothing wrong with happiness and enjoying oneself, this route to seeking out joy will usually leave people empty-handed. A recent experience with a homeless man strengthened my belief that true, satisfying happiness comes not from working for one's own benefit but from serving others.

About a week ago, I went to Capital City Mall with two friends to seek out a more enjoyable meal than I would find in State University’s cafeteria. As we approached the
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Before encountering this homeless man, I had always been taught and had always believed that I should be concerned with the needs of others at least as much as with my own. Perhaps the strongest factor influencing this belief was the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan. As a Jewish man is traveling down the road, some thieves mug him and "leav[e] him half dead" (Luke 10:30). A few religious but arrogant men approach the man as they walk down the road but quickly pass on the other side of the road. Finally, a Samaritan man, a member of a race that hates Jews, stops to help the injured man, takes him to an inn and pays the innkeeper to care for the man until he heals. After telling this story, Jesus instructs, "You go, and do likewise" (Luke 10:37). Just as the Samaritan man assisted his social enemy, a Jewish man, when he needed care, I learned that I should act likewise and help and care for those who aren't necessarily liked by others. Whether these people are simply shy and lonely or homeless outcasts like the man I recently encountered, I knew I was to look for ways to serve them.

Looking back over the past several years of my life, those times I found myself to be happiest were instances in which I was following my firm conviction to put others before myself - to serve and assist them in something they could not accomplish on their own. The summer after my freshman year of high school, I went on a mission trip where a couple thousand students and I went
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