A Man and His Cardboard

Today I spotted this homeless man sitting on the side of the street as we (elder monk and I) were existing the freeway (route 90N) and onto Fresno Street. He was to my left (me being in the passenger seat). Of all the written words I’ve ever read on many of the cut out cardboard boxes I’ve seen, his made me feel something. It was empathy. I wanted to give him more than just money: I wanted to do more for this man. I wanted to take him in. Unfortunately, I didn’t pull my money out quick enough before the light had turned green. Also, I am not capable of taking care of someone at the moment so taking him in would not be great.

On his frayed cardboard in big bold black ink read, “Everyone Needs Help Sometimes”. I just wanted to give him a hug. I wanted to pay it forward. But I myself am stuck in a rut. I myself would be considered homeless if I hadn’t had school to turn to for shelter. So I couldn’t do much but relate to those words: understand him and feel for him.
I wanted to tell him that he was right to write those words and that he deserved every help imaginable. I personally believe that everyone deserves as many chances as possible.

To give, to service, and to guide those in need of a hand is what life is all about. Be the hope and the light that was missing for a long time in their lives…   compassion is where it’s at.

One day I will pay it forward. One day, I will put a smile on the face of what was once a loss soul. I will give many people hope and assure them that there are plenty of love and kindness in the world so do not be afraid to be part of that movement. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not give up. Do not lose hope.

This man was such an inspiration. I pray and hope he finds his way back up onto his feet and happy again.

10/22/11

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