One doesn't always have change to spare, but when someone reaches their hand out, the least anyone can give, is a smile.
This is how all the interactions I have with people panhandling start. With a smile. And a genuine "Hi. How are you?"
I've had amazing conversations with people on the streets, I've learned things about history and geography; I've learned about cultures I'm not from; about our society, about literature, art, and philosophy. I've laughed, and I've cried; I've both felt joy and anger; hope, and despair.
To me, these are so much more than pictures, or even portraits. They are memories; recollections of encounters that shaped me into the person I am today. I've grown more as a human being by speaking with all these people than by listening to all of the teachers who's class I attended during my education.
And I'm sharing them here today for I hope they'll make you want to stop, listen, and grow with these people too.
More info: Facebook
#1 Fernand Is Probably The Nicest Guy I've Ever Met. And Many People Commented The Same Thing When They Saw This Picture On My Blog
#2 Mario Went To Prison After He Killed The Man Who Raped His Little Baby Boy. He Then Lost Everything
#3 I Asked Him What Feeling He Wanted His Picture To Convey, He Said "Love." And I Snapped This As He Was Saying "I Love My Wife"
#4 She Once Hit A Man With A Stick, Because He Had Just Done The Same To His Dog
#5 After Posting His Picture, Someone Actually Hired Normand To Do Some Construction Work
#6 He Told Me About The Time A Little Girl Gave Him Her Lollipop And It Made Him Cry
#7 Mostafa Speaks 8 Languages. Including Yiddish
#8 Fanny Ran Away From Home, And Her Abusive Step Dad, When She Was A Teen
#9 He'd Probably Convince The Grinch That Smiling Is The Best Thing Anybody Can Do
#10 He's Inuk, And He Married A Cree Woman. Though It Was A Difficult For Some People Of Their Respective Communities To Accept, This Was The Happiest Day Of His Life