Most of us have faced the decision: Should I or shouldn’t I give money to the man or woman standing at the end of the highway exit or on the neighborhood corner – sometimes in pelting rain or snow – who gestures with a paper cup in hand? Sometimes there’s a sign on a torn remnant from an abandoned box: homeless, veteran, hungry. Some of us give money; some of us don’t. Some of us struggle with the wrenching decision and our conscience; some of us don’t. In this essay we hear the insights shared by a very wise 13-year-old, Alyssa Howard, about her impressive efforts to wrestle with these common challenges in all of our lives.
Alyssa Howard is an eighth grader at the Gordon School and lives with her parents and two older sisters in East Providence. She plays field hockey and basketball and loves photography and drawing.