We often capture strangers in photos we take in public. Open your photo library, and stop at the first picture that features a person you don’t know. Now tell the story of that person.
Oh… the PERFECT prompt for me!! My sister in law is a photographer. (https://m.facebook.com/reneefaheyphotography. GO check her out… she’s simply AMAZING!!)She went to New York city and took thousands of pictures. I asked her to send me a few so I could compose a story about each one. My favorite was of a rather dirty looking man, sitting in the doorway of an un-opened business to keep out of the cold. I begged her for the picture, but unfortunately, I cannot find it. Must be on my old phone. Regardless, I love to try to figure out people’s stories. Where they came from, how they got to be in that doorway, what brought them here, etc.
So, as my imagination runs ramped, I’ll describe for you the story of this poor man, sitting in the doorway. He is a Veteran, and lost everything while defending our freedom. While overseas, his wife and children moved on without him. His house was put up for rent (without his knowledge, only later to be sold. ) Since his return from the war, he suffers from PTSD, making a steady job almost impossible to find, so he relies on the generous donations of passers by to help him purchase his next meal. Since life as he once knew it is over, depression has set in, so more than likely, his next meal will be a bottle of strong liquor. The liquid magic helps him to forget it all, but at the same time, it distorts his ability to think straight. So, we walk by and see a “crazy” person, perhaps talking to himself, and keep our distance. How shallow are we?? Would it break the bank to buy this man a decent lunch? Hand deliver a meal so that he doesn’t use money to drink his life away. Perhaps take a few minutes to let the poor guy vent? I imagine he isn’t happy, and might need someone to just talk to. Maybe his only friends are fellow homeless individuals.
So, if I could have it my way (If I were Lisa Ling) I would go through the “gut” or the “bad parts” of each and every city and do all that I could to help homeless individuals get back on their feet. If they aren’t mentally stable, and don’t have a job that offers health insurance, it’s not an easy thing to get back on your feet. And in the same picture, are groups of people just walking by, not even noticing his presence. How sad is that? What has become of us? We see a neighbor in distress, and instead of helping, we ignore him or her, and carry on window shopping, or whatever it is we are doing.
My heart breaks for the amount of homeless people, and starving children RIGHT HERE in America, but we have to go “save” everyone else first. Our homeless shelters are full to capacity, the local food banks are running out of food, there aren’t very many programs available for assisting a homeless person to get back on their feet. When you’ve hit rock bottom, and there isn’t anyone there to help you pick up the pieces, it’s no wonder these homeless individuals resort to drinking. I know I would.
So, today, as I was on my way home from my doctor’s appointment, there was a man sitting at the corner of the intersection holding up a sign that read “I don’t need money!! I need a JOB!” So, I did all that I could and if everything goes as planned, he should have a job in no time. Good deed done for the day? Check. I wish I didn’t have a million things to do today, as I would love to write more on this specific topic, but, my time is limited and I have to go. Just remember… these homeless people that we tend to shy away from? They are individuals too. If you can’t spare a few dollars, or buy them a meal, the least you could do is lend him or her your ear.
Happy blogging everyone!!