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Compassion can heal a community

It was raining at the Junction; the temperatures were spiraling down to freezing. Two minutes before I had just given homeless gentlemen and his animal companion (a small horse) two wool blankets and a pair of gloves, knowing the night would bring suffering to many in our county. It was a small gesture, but probably a lifeline.. I offered to buy some apples for the horse, but he kindly declined. The few times I talked to him before he seemed to try to be as self sufficient as possible, which I respected. I bought some groceries and upon coming out I saw two uniformed members of our service community (branch and type omitted as I respect them too much) were shaking him down pretty bad. He wasn’t panhandling, and was just getting on his horse to ride home with the blankets I gave him. They made him pick up horse poop with his bare hands, and proceeded to humiliate a man who was already down on his luck, in the rain. Wet horse poop isn’t easy to pick up with your hands. Of cour! se, cars leaking oil onto the pavement right next to the horse was quietly ignored. I stood there with tears in my eyes, which must have been quite a site for them as they looked at me, challenging me to say something. I don’t know the man, but he is my brother; he is my father; he is my son. “AHO MITAKUYE OYASIN. We are all related.” I urge us all to remember those in need. Everyone is having a hard time, and compassion can heal a community.