Have you ever given money to a homeless person, and assumed immediately the money would go directly to the nearest liquor store? Or did you assume they would go and buy booze or drugs with your money, so you kept it in your pocket? Certainly the homeless have a bad reputation, for being lazy, or dirty, or addicts, or in some cases as shysters trying to play on our sympathies for money they don’t really need.

A student, Josh Paler Lin held some of these views, but wanted to see for himself what would happen if he gave a homeless man a substantial sum of money. So Lin gave a homeless man he met in Southern California $100, and then decided to follow him, out of sight, to see what the man bought.

When the very first stop the homeless man made was a liquor store, Lin, like most people would be, wasn’t at all surprised. It was what happened next that was the lesson to be learned for the student.

Lin and his cameraman had their minds, and their assumptions blown when the man took the bags he had acquired in the liquor store and walked several miles to a park to share the bags' contents. He removed several food items from the bags to share with other homeless people that called the park home.

Lin later approached the man, who admitted that, although it is true many homeless are drunks or drug abusers, many others are merely down on their luck, having lost a home, or a job, been evicted, or suffered a medical emergency that stripped them of their savings.

Hopefully Lin's wasn't the only person who's opinions were slightly altered by the actions of the one person featured in this video. Sometimes one act of kindness leads to more that you would never expect. At this time of the year, the simplest gift can affect so many. Please remember that next time you see a person in need. Your act of kindness may help more than you know. Also remember to mind your words, thoughts and opinions carefully, for you never know who has walked in their shoes. Remember, there for the grace of god...

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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