The Homeless Man I “Adopted”
I have been living at the beach in San Diego since 1980… It’s a beautiful area with cliffs, sunclipses, good-looking people, bicycles paths, and just about everything that a nature lover that lives in a city could want.
The area is filled with some pretty colorful characters and things – from million dollar homes overlooking the gorgeous clear (most days) ocean, to bikers, hippies, veterans, tourists, and homeless folks since they are allowed in this beach (can’t find them in La Jolla since they have strong “vagrancy” laws – and God forbid that the mega-rich should look at a reality that millions of people, including whole families, are homeless in America).
In our beachy area, we live with that fact – we feed them in the local churches, we take our leftovers during Thanksgiving – and we are grateful for our jobs, businesses and our good luck that we are not one of them. As we all know, it can happen to any one – and for some that can’t stand the thought, they would rather jump off a bridge than face the fact that they could become homeless.
It’s a tough reality to confront – and it’s something that some have learned to live with…
A couple of years ago, I noticed that there was a homeless man that was sleeping under the covered front door of a nice “boutique” mortuary in our neighborhood. Though I travel extensively for business, when I’d be home and driving by in the evenings, I’d notice him. A bundle on the ground with items around him – what looks like the comforts of a “makeshift” bedroom.
My heart would break a little every time I saw him – and instead of feeling sad about him and rationalizing that I contribute so much to different organizations that handle people like this gentle-man that obviously has had a dose of very bad luck, I chose to start including him in my life.
I started to bring him leftovers (I was careful to separate my food before eating so that it would be completely clean for him). I started to think of little things to bring to him at times – including the wonderful on-flight pajamas that Air China provides for Business Class flyers. On my last Thanksgiving I spent in the States a couple of years ago – though I knew that the local church would have had a nice turkey dinner for the folks that need it – I brought him a nice plate.
It was interesting at moments when I’d walk towards him – most of the time, he’d sit up and look and see who was heading his way – he had good instincts – I figured that he didn’t sleep that sound – who would sleeping on the streets?
I started to see him sitting there earlier at times – before dark – and I had a chance to see him sitting on the ledge of the front area of this mortuary. I started to be thankful to this organization that obviously was allowing him to have a little area where he could rest at night. I even started thinking of adding in my Will that they are the assigned business to turn my body into ashes when it’s time – ways of prospering them for their generosity of Spirit… It was a daily reminder of the world that many live in – where Scarcity is king – Sufficiency is a dream – and Abundance is enjoyed by those that have an understanding of true abundance (and some greedy) as opposed to the masses.
In our Excellerated programs, we have taken many to this experience of Sufficiency and naturally they move to that experience of Abundance – many go on to contribute to others… it’s a wonderful experience.
Yes, I understand the “Law of Attraction”, karma and destiny – and I will continue to ask the question: in relationship to our connection to God, what is really our job here on Earth?
How do we live in peace / joy / abundance / love and allow for 27,000 plus people (mostly children) around the world to die daily of hunger, starvation, lack of clean water and electricity which doesn’t allow for basic medicines to be refrigerated, and this contributes to the spread of horrible diseases, where mothers helplessly watch their children die — some knowing that we have the medicines, knowledge and resources in “civilized” prosperous countries…
By now, I could be “bumming” you out – and thank YOU for reading this far – and this is a question that I live in:
We know that it has to do with political matters, with greed, with an old paradigm that has changed but most of the people in the world have not caught on…
I have this powerful belief that Americans are enraged with the corporate greed because though the likes of Donald Trump try to blame the Chinese for our problems, we are the ones that made the deals with them… they provided cheap labor because they were hungry – and had a history that is so intense with hunger / starvation / and Imperialist invasions, that when one reads their history, their zealousness for wealth and having more starts to make sense in that paradigm.
In case you didn’t know, they make products to the EXACT specifications given to them, i.e. Apple Computer products vs. Walmart cheap products… and along with our manufacturing, we have given them our pollution. Next time you meet (or see) a Chinese national, bow and thank them for taking our toxic waste, our dirty air, and along all the environmental problems that come with the territory.
You don’t believe me? Do a little research on why most blue jeans are dyed and manufactured in China…and the consequences of that… you may never buy another pair of blue jeans again!
All these thoughts would go around in my head when I’d see the homeless man that “I had adopted”. And though I have served in homeless shelters, have delivered Thanksgiving boxes to poor families in the past, and have supported organizations committed to ending homelessness, personalizing a homeless person is a tough thing to do – and I highly recommend it!
I miss the homeless man. Since my last trip to the Orient, he’s no longer there. I am hoping that he has found a new home and no longer needs that temporary spot. I try to avoid the thought that he died in the cold, alone, on a hard-concrete ground with no one to hold his hand… I am thinking of calling the mortuary to find out if they know what happened to the gentle-man that they so kindly allowed to be in their front door for years… I’ll let you know if I find out anything.
I have decided to share this story with you because I know how tough it is to ask these questions – and how much easier it’s to rationalize… and I’ve decided to create a “new dream” as Don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements) would say.
I’d like to invite you to come along and create a “new dream” where there’s Sufficiency and all human being in this world have a choice to have a roof over their heads, have the ability to earn a living, have 3 square meals a day, can send their children to school, have health care, and a little left-over to enjoy little vacations and entertainment… and ultimately, have a little piece of mind, a smile on their face – and live in a safe world with loving peeps!
Thank YOU for reading this far… every disenfranchised person on the planet THANKS YOU.
Check out http://www.endhomelessness.org/ for more information on the state of Homelessness in America.
Dame DC Cordova,
CEO, Excellerated Business Schools®