I love surrounding myself with people of different ideas and perspectives.

It’s not very stimulating or interesting to be around a group of people who don’t challenge my thinking or share an idea I’ve never heard before. I’d rather be exposed to new ideas to ponder and consider – no matter how strange or even ridiculous they may sound.

Which sets up an idea I heard yesterday.

Homeless people are not just dependent on the generosity of others, but nearly addicted to it.

Before I started asking questions to make sure I understood exactly what the point was, I had to weed out the mentally ill and drug-addicted. No, my friend told me, she’s not talking about them.

She was specifically talking about people who are, essentially, professionally homeless. People who just travel from area to area, or town to town, standing on street corners begging for change.

Her idea was that it’s heartwarming, and often a positive rush, when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s generosity. Especially when people come through voluntarily.

And those people who’ve got their hand out experience an elation they otherwise don’t get in their daily lives when someone stops to give them a dollar or some change.

I’ve been thinking about this since I heard the idea, and I’ve found that while I’ve spent some mental energy on how right or wrong that may be, I find myself more intrigued by the idea that these people almost serve to give people a chance to do something good.

I love it when my perspective on something is altered. Especially after it had been formed and locked in for years.