What if he’s conning me?

“What if this story this guy is telling me isn’t true? What if he, 70 years old, scraggly hair, sitting in a wheelchair, knee brace on his left leg, with a couple of bags and a book on his lap, didn’t really lose his place in Hurricane Sandy? What if that’s not what pushed him over the edge and shoved him back into a life of homeless shelters and benefits checks that don’t go far enough?”

Sure, that goes through my head.

But as I stand there listening I cannot help but stand face-to-face with my own good fortune, all the challenges I don’t face every day, all the barriers that aren’t in my way.

So, instead, I endeavor to think, “maybe this is a chance to help. Maybe a little bit will make a difference. Maybe experiencing the indignity of asking for money on the subway is something that this articulate guy shouldn’t have to go through.”

Maybe the chance to help even a little is a chance worth taking.

What do you know?

“Who are you to be spouting all of these ideas?”

“What do you really know about this?”

“You’re not an expert.”

“There’s nothing new here.”

“Who cares what you think, really?”

And on and on.

No, that’s not what your critics are saying.  It’s what the little voice inside your head is saying, the one that’s holding you back.  The one that is petrified that you might discover how much you actually have to offer.