Hope for the Homeless

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This is Ralph. He sat down one park bench down from me and I started talking to him. He’s homeless but an honest, great guy that struggled with drugs and alcohol and now lives on the street. We talked about everything and nothing and it was incredible. I gave him $30 and a hug and wished him the best. He’s usually hanging out in front of the air and space museum by the food trucks. If you see him, stop by and chat. You won’t regret it.

Ralph taught me a valuable lesson today. Appreciate what you have, but even more so, appreciate those around you. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, or Asian, no one gives a flying fuck. I learned this a long time ago, but just realized it again today: people love to talk. And especially, people love to talk about themselves. This isn’t some way of me saying that people are selfish, but that people thrive on relationships. If I can be affected so much by one person in a span of about half an hour, I can’t imagine what it did for Ralph.

I realized that after listening to Ralph, I asked what I find to be an extremely weighted and honest question: “So, how can I help you?” To someone homeless like Ralph or to almost anyone on the street, I feel that question isn’t asked even remotely often enough. I don’t have class on Thursdays and have no obligations as of yet, so here’s the plan: Go to DC every Thursday, strike up a conversation, and ask them “How can I help you?” And then fucking do it. If they say they’re struggling financially, give them some cash. If they say they’re hungry, buy them whatever they want for lunch. If they say they’re an emotional wreck, listen to them for another 2 hours, or 2 days, whatever. It’s not up to me to deny someone help.

During my chat with Ralph, he politely let me know that he could use (if I could afford it, and if I can’t, that’s ok too) $20 to afford money for the shelter for the week. Why the hell wouldn’t I give him that?! If someone has the humility to ask for help from a “stranger,” then they deserve any and everything they ask.

I’d like to apologize if I post too often or you get bored with this, but I’m not going to. I’ve learned that this semester is for me to improve myself spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I already told a friend this and she asked, “So what kind of things are you going to do to reach that goal? More so focusing on the spiritual/emotional aspect?” My response: “I’m noticing by focusing on the physical my mind is more open to the spiritual/emotional.”

I found a hobby. I started biking around DC/Hyattsville area. (Shout out to Nate Blevins for providing me with the bike for an amount a college student can afford!) The first 10 minutes suck and I hate it and I dread every moment that I even think about it. But after that, after your heart rate drops a little bit, your legs get used to the constant movement, and you just accept the fact that you’re going to be dripping sweat from head to toe, *insert some exclamation here (holy crap and oh my goodness don’t do it justice)* it is fucking awesome. More details later, but I love it.

Side note, I hate endings, so in the future, most of these will just trail off. Thanks for reading!

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