Marie was a homeless woman in her mid-sixties, begging on the streets in hopes of scraping by. Passersby would ignore her, some would even sneer at her or give her unveiled looks of pure disgust. But nevertheless, she returned to the same street corner every day, holding the same sign asking for money or food or anything that could help her.
One day, a young woman passed by the street corner and saw Marie and her sign. All through the day, she couldn’t stop thinking of the poor woman, and how much she reminded her of her own grandmother. When she passed by Marie’s street corner the next morning, she gave the old woman twenty dollars in cash and offered to take her out to breakfast. They talked during breakfast, and the young woman listened intently as Marie told her of her life story, of how her late husband’s medical treatments were so expensive that Marie had to sell her house and everything she had to enable her to pay for her husband’s treatment. But even then, she didn’t have enough money to continue paying for his treatment, so he passed away.
The young woman learned empathy that day.