I had some issues floating around my head and have been trying to find a way to deal with them, so at midnight, I decided to go for a walk to clear my mind.
While walking around Brickel, the financial district, I saw this figure lying down on the bottom of a building. I could not figure out if it was some type of animal or a person. When I got closer, I realized that it was a homeless man.
The misery was so big, that I had to take a picture to share it with my kids. Keep in mind; this is in the middle of the financial district, like any other around the world. A place where every day millions of people pass through and millions of dollars switch hands.
This picture made me think:
How did I become so immune to misery?
Every day we see them on the way to work, to school, to the grocery store; they have become a normal part of the city landscape and we don't give them a second thought.
A few years ago, I was a lot more sensitive to this issue; When I saw them, I would ask myself: "What is their story, what happened to them? Where do they come from? Do they have an addiction, do they have a family? I would talk to them...
Many occasions, I would hire them to work for me and would try to find them a place to live. I would buy for them personal hygiene supplies like laundry soap, deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brush and so on.
I set 2 conditions for them in order to be able to work with me: they could not smell like alcohol and they had to wash their clothing.
My goal was to give them back their dignity!
Today, I realized that my skin had become thicker, my attitude toward them has changed, I walk by them without giving a second thought; and that is wrong, that is terrible!
I do not have an answer on how to deal with the rising homeless population, but I know that little things, little gestures can make them feel human again.
I need to make a conscious effort to acknowledge them, to talk to them, to ask them questions and to learn their story.
It is lonesome to be homeless, and just taking a few seconds to smile or to ask how someone's day is going, can make a big difference in his/her day.
After taking the picture, I realized that my issues, my problems are diminutive in comparison with most of the people. So, why am I so concerned about it and why do I stress so much about it?
But also I ask, when did I become so wrapped up in myself?