I’ve been thinking about the decision to give (or not to give) to a beggar on the street since Pope Francis suggested that giving “is always right,” whether one thinks the other is truly in need or not. A few evenings ago, as I was leaving a movie theater, having spent a lovely evening with friends, there was a homeless man with a sign asking for donations. Engaged in conversation, I quickly walked by him. I was unsure if I had any cash on me at the time, but as I reflected on my thoughts and actions, I realized that I did not (or could not) look the man in the eye, and I wondered why. If I had money with me, would I have given it to him? Would I have looked him in the eye then? I felt a sense of shame–some for not giving him money, but more so that I hadn’t looked at him directly. Looking someone in the eye honors their dignity–it acknowledges WHO THEY ARE.