Hope for the Homeless

1237704_236383083177494_2113883166_n

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!

Advertisements

Friends, Fire, and Stars

I haven’t had the time to actually think of anything creative to say, but I have a bunch of old posts from forever ago I’ll be posting every week or so.

This one is from February 10, 2008.

I don’t know what was wrong with me, but for the longest time I gave up on everything I believed in.

It’s not that I hated God or didn’t want him to be part of my life, I just didn’t care for his help or guidance and said, “hold up, this is me, this is my life, and I can handle it.”

But lately I haven’t been able to handle it.  I wasn’t created to handle it, I was created to do something with it.

Anyway, tonight we (me, ben and josh) made a fire just like every other sat. night, and hung out, just like every other saturday night, and did some stupid stuff, just like every other night:-p, but tonight was different.  I didn’t want to sleep outside tonight just because I am cold enough inside as it is. But I was walking back down, and I looked up, and the sky was a deep blue, a dark luminescent blue that doesn’t have a brightness to it, but doesn’t keep you in the pitch black darkness.  And to my left was almost a sunset.  The sky had that orange hue to it that just made everything perfect.  And there were sounds, oh the sounds.  There was the breeze, just gentle enough to nip the tip of your nose.  And my feet made noises, a steady moving, a constant moving.  The grass below them crunched with a sound somewhere between leaves in autumn and a fresh twig being snapped.  Then as I neared the house, I could hear water in the distance.  It wasn’t rushing, it was just flowing, moving, pressing onward towards it’s destination.  It doesn’t know where it’s going, it doesn’t care to, it just goes to where the rocks lead it.  And my footsteps changed their tune, there was no crunch, but it wasn’t quite a stomp, the sound of the dirt beneath my feet just loving being appreciated.

It was just a beautiful eye-opening night.  And God rushed in to scream this in my face without even whispering a word.

First Impressions

Oftentimes, we get so focused on first impressions, we don’t give people a chance.

Within the past 10 minutes, it’s been glaringly obvious how big of a problem this is. I was sitting outside and was just observing people. (I do this normally, is that weird?) I noticed some people and automatically jumped to conclusions about who they were, where they were from, or how they lived their lives. I then read a friend’s blog post which was basically talking about the same thing, and read yet another blog talking about a similar subject. Lo and behold, I open up my English book, and there’s an essay I’m supposed to read about the same topic.€

But that got me thinking, do people do the same thing with me? Do they see a short 19-year-old guy and assume that he doesn’t know anything. How do they really view me?

So how do we prevent these first impressions from transforming how we view people? The answer is simple in theory but sometimes hard to apply: Get to know them. In a recent discussion with a friend, we reached the conclusion that we can help people the most by simply initiating conversations, remembering names, and praying.

For example, have you ever been in a public place and worried to talk to someone because you thought they wouldn’t want to talk to you? The exact same thing is probably going through their mind at that time, and they just want to talk.

I am one of the worst people with remembering names, but will remember if I constantly repeat the name I just heard in my head until I have it down. And I make it a point to let them know I remember their name the next time.

I’m not sure where I was headed with this, but it all boils down to one thing: Love. We are put on this earth to love God and love others. How can you love others if you can’t even ignite the opportunity to listen to them?

Fancy Idea for a New Computer

I saw this idea before, and think it’s a great idea.

What do you think? If it sounds good, let me know, and I’ll figure out how to post my papal information on here.

Rules of the Ride

OK, so you’ve been sitting around, looking at your beast of an SUV that gets 10 miles to a gallon, 11 highway, and you say to yourself, “Man, I would love to own a HOG.” (AKA a Harley.) You know you would love the gas mileage, and want to join the community that is motorcycle riders. First off there are a few things you should know.

Know #1-Don’t get a Harley; Harleys are loud, obnoxious, and show the true personality of the rider. Harley riders are people that are also loud, obnoxious and just desire attention. Now, if that is you, then by all means, no one’s gonna stop you. Just realize that people that ride quiet bikes will know your true character.

Know #2-Now this is the most important one, “The Wave.” Now as I said before, riding a bike is like joining a community, not quite a cult, but close. Know this: “The Wave” is an honor held only from one motorcycle to another. When passing opposite directions, “The Wave” is not only suggested, but required, unless you want to look like a tool. Rather than explain how to do “The Wave,” I can explain how NOT to do “The Wave.”

DO NOT wave like a princess. EVER. Raising your hand and flicking your wrist in order to wave is just inappropriate. You bought a bike to look tough, not like a girl. There are two heights acceptable for “The Wave.” Handlebar height, and with your left arm totally extended below your waist. Now if you have a set of apehangers, then handlebar height is not acceptable, but you probably don’t care about “The Wave” anyway.

“The Wave” is less of an actual wave, and more of a pointing. When performing “The Wave” simply extend a few fingers, maybe even your thumb,  and hold it when there is an oncoming motorcycle. Then, resume riding. But always be on the lookout for another “Wave opportunity.”

There are only a few times when “The Wave” is not possible. For example, if you are coming to a stop, and must have your left hand on the clutch, it would be unintelligent and unsafe to even attempt “The Wave.” In this case, “The Nod” is acceptable.

Any man that is a man knows “The Nod.” “The Nod” is known beyond just motorcycles. It says “Yo what’s up?” without actually saying anything. Now when carrying out “The Nod” be sure it is a downward nod, NOT upward. An upward nod will make you look like a tool, and we don’t want that. Only owners of crotch-rockets will accept the up-nod, and you can draw your own conclusion to that statement.

Now, the final, and MOST IMPORTANT rule of “The Wave” is to never, EVER, ever execute “The Wave” to a scooter. Scooters are NOT motorcycles. If a vehicle has two wheels and cannot get above 30 mph, sorry. Yes, they can be fun, but are not considered to be a motorcycle. “The Wave” is reserved for motorcycles ONLY.

Have you ever heard of or noticed “The Wave?” If so, does the sense of community it creates make you desire to be a motorcycle owner?

If a vehicle has two wheels and cannot get above 45 mph, sorr”The way=vey.