So go and brush your shoulders off.
So go and brush your shoulders off.
For someone who has had the easy life, success could be what car you drive or what job you attain, but for someone who’s been through a crisis in their family or in their country, success could just be walking up in the morning and daring to venture another day. Success for an alcoholic could be staying alcohol free for a day. So as able-bodied, healthy people, we should not scoff at our brothers and sisters when they’ve toasted to a small success, because as much as it may seem small to us, it might be huge for them. Let’s celebrate every little success and fleck of hope, for we are of the same fabric, and we would not be who we are without the people around us.
You’d think that life gets easier to navigate as you get older. But now that I’m “an adult”, life becomes more confusing. High school was confusing, college was more confusing, and now with a job and a life, it’s hard enough to keep up with lost friends and bills, but a sense of self. Maybe we got it wrong when we said that time tells all… maybe time tells us nothing. Maybe our decisions and actions are an outcome of our opportunities and to make something of ourselves is a daily practice, in which time is merely a yearbook of how we tried or didn’t try.
Sure, there are a lot of amazing benefits from the advancement of technology in recent years.
But as awesome as facebook, twitter, iphones, etc can all be, it makes me rely on them at the same time. Now, I have to be spoon fed by facebook the week’s upcoming birthdays so I can at least write a “happy birthdayy!” on a person’s Wall. And I cannot remember someone’s phone number either - why do I need to when it’s in my phone?
Why? Because I might lose my phone, that’s why. And when we lose phones, we do a mass emergency note to everyone on our facebook announcing our utter dismay and request of an exchange party of numbers. I get these notes from some people I never talk to anyway. What would they need my phone number for? They never call me. Beats me. I guess for some people, it’s nice to have a phone full of numbers you never call than the truth, which is a max 10 real people you talk to the majority of the time. There’s so much storage space on a phone these days, you need to fill it with something, huh?
You’d think that when you’re helping someone, it would be for the benefit of this person in need. Of course it makes you feel great, too. But it’s another thing entirely when helping a person completely takes you on a little surprise.
I like to pick days when I’m feeling really down on myself and say, maybe today, I’ll buy someone something to eat and drink. Then I’ll get that wonderful satisfaction that today, I meant something to someone, even for a moment.
So one particular day a few months ago, it was scorching hot outside my workplace and I saw a man who was homeless. But he had the biggest smile on his face. I was so stressed out and here is this man, who clearly needs many basic necessities in life, so happy. So I thought, on a day like this, where he’s bulked up on thick jackets to travel around with, he must at least be thirsty. So I walked up to him and asked him, would you like something to eat or drink? And he looked up to say, sure. So I told him, don’t move and I’ll be right back.
I go to the local liquor store, and I’m grabbing all these foods and drinks (sodas, water, etc) to last him at least a day or so of snacking. I purchase it feeling good, and I find him in the same place. I bent over and handed him the bag, like, here you go! And he doesn’t move his hand to grab it. He just says, oh thank you! You’re too kind! But he’s not looking at me, he’s looking to his left. And I say, ok well, here (as I place to bag handle inches from his hand.) And when he didn’t respond again, I realized that he was blind.
And it was then that I started overflowing with emotion. Here was a man, blind in the middle of Hollywood, probably starved, and can’t ask for money because he can’t even see the people he would need to ask… it was overwhelming. So I told him all the stuff I got, and he said he wanted the Coke. So I open it and as he takes a sip, I feel the refreshment with him, and it was a really humbling and powerful moment.
I highly recommend when you’re feeling blue, like you don’t matter to anyone, help someone in need and see your day completely change.
There is this one guy who is on Sunset Blvd all the time right around the Arclight movie theater during the day, with a one block radius. But he’s always really nice, cleaned up, and though he doesn’t have the best clothes on, it’s not tattered. In short, he looks like an average guy. In fact, I feel conflicted about feeling bad. Clearly, he needs money to be asking for it, but if he always comes back clean, clearly he at least has a place to stay, which is more than I can say about other homeless people in LA.
Makes me believe that there’s something cosmic that bonds us all. And in that way, even on my worst day, I feel a little more connected to the world. And I feel a little comforted by the thought.