Most of us feel it is right to help those who are homeless, but there are still a few who believe that the homeless should be left to help themselves. In order be clear on why we help we must ask, Why is it right to help the homeless?
Helping the homeless is right because it is a compassionate act, and compassion is a virtue of the highest order. To help the homeless is to demonstrate a concern for the welfare of others without judging them or blaming them for their circumstances. Compassion doesn’t blame a victim but seeks to offer assistance no matter what the situation.
To help others when they are down is a model of good behavior that inspires others. This leads to possibly other acts of kindness. Because of the simple truth that in order to be happy, harmful acts should be minimized and helpful acts should be maximized, we can say that helping the homeless out of compassion is an act that would benefit, not only the individual, but all of society.
Those who believe that the homeless should help themselves might object to offering help because they believe it may cause a dependency, or that leaving people on their own may be good because it teaches personal responsibility. But there is a big difference between offering assistance in small, or even large, ways, and creating a co-dependent relationship. We should not overlook the benefits of helping others for any judgments we have about the way a person should manage their life. The way we conduct ourselves in our own lives is much more important.
We will create a better world by acting in more peaceful and compassionate ways, therefore helping the homeless is right because it brings us all great benefit.