Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 1 "the hungry traveler"

As i went forth into day 1, i realized how much of a competition it was even to find a spot to "panhandle". Every time i would find a spot 15 minutes later a hoard of homeless people would gather around and "hustle". I came to a spot eventually and started to panhandle and was suprised at the lack of concern in drivers faces. Most would look down or away or start messing with their cell phones. Granted i only did it for three hours and in that time i made 4 dollars, a sack lunch, a taco bell buritto, two granola bars, and a six pack of soda. There was some welcoming friendly faces in the mix as well. Mainly elderly and young children and girls that looked like they could be from college. I felt like most all the people felt an internal "pressure" to help, much like a girl outside a grocery store selling girlscout cookies. I went inside businesses and asked how they felt about it and majority of them had a negative reaction to the concept. One guy who had a windshield repair stand said that he pays 1400 a month for a tiny little spot next to the freeway and when homeless people come to panhandle his business suffers from it, but the days they are not there, he ends up profiting. My instant internal thought was to collaborate with the homeless person and actually tell them the business is suffering and have the homeless person tell people with cracked windshields that are giving to him/her that they can get it fixed right over there. That way business is actually promoted while homeless still get money. Thats just my crazy thought process though. Seems tabu to mingle with the different social classes. I have heard all sorts of stereotypes from business owners/workers yet none of them admit to actually talking to them. Stereotypes do exist though for a reason. I talked with one homeless person that admitted to cooking meth. He showed lack of remorse for doing it knowing what meth does to people and said its just what he knows to do that profits greatly. He did it with cousins and uncles from the age of 13. It makes me sad to know that for 30 years this guy didnt have ONE positive role model in his life to teach him of other ways. It became an innate nature of selfishness due to lack of actual LOVE that drove the inevitable apathy he developed for his fellow man. Most all the homeless people were smart in each of their own ways. the "chemist/mechanic" that i just described or the "musician" that i encountered as well. I found out very quickly that homeless people just want to be heard, given a chance to exchange knowledge, them progress from there. In society there is a broken link to that chain due to stereotypes. Most common people with jobs/businesses/families approach the concept of homeless people as having to "walk on eggshells". For the most part, thats not even remotely the case at all. You approach them with love, kindness, and an open ear and it rekindles a light in their eye. So this is my conclusion for day 1. Stop judging, start mixing in with them, approach everyone with LOVE. Love meaning that it is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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