It's the regular commute aboard a Brooklyn-bound 3 train. I am standing near the door, holding onto the metal bars with my hands wrapped in my sweater sleeve, when suddenly a man enters through the sliding doors, pushing through the crowd saying: "Excuse me, handicapped."

"Oh boy," people mutter under their breath, "Here we go again, he's another 'traveling preacher'..."

He calls for everyone's attention, and like the millions of needy people before him, begins to tell his story— hoping to arouse sympathy in our hearts, and compassion in our wallets.

Do we ever really listen?There are three passengers standing just a few inches away from me. They're rolling their eyes and spewing frustrated comments at this man's audacity.

Their less than decent reaction stirs the thoughts in my head.

To what lengths do those in need have to go to get our attention?

Do we ever really listen?

Or have we reached a point where the needy must beg for our mercy before we consider opening our ears?

We need to be far more in tune than that.

Our attitude is all wrong. We are given a privilege to give; we shouldn't have to be begged.

It's not only an act of kindness; it's our responsibility— our responsibility to he who asks, to ourselves, and to the world.

We should never wait for someone to arouse our compassion, that's far too haughty.

We're not so important, and we'd all do well to remember this from time to time.

Do not turn your head I am not just speaking of the monetarily needy, seeking means to survive. I am speaking of anyone and everyone in our lives that needs to be heard.

If you see someone in a rough spot it's your duty and obligation to see them through.In whatever way you can, you must help them.

Do not turn your head and roll you eyes.

Do not label them another "traveling preacher".

Do not turn your back on them, for someday, someone may turn their back on you.

After ten minutes of hearing of his hardships, the gory details, unfortunate event after unfortunate event, I smile as I see two generous passengers each hand him a buck, suddenly wishing I had something to contribute.As he limps away through the train doors I thank G‑d for my life, and I thank him for reminding me of my purpose in the world, of my obligations to humanity.