Monday, January 27, 2014

Sometimes junk is just junk

For me, this week was another one about the odd lessons in life. Near one of the places a homeless I guy I know stays at, I noticed someone opened up a store with the "Pickers" name added to it. I love the show on History about Pickers, so I thought I would take a minute to check it out.

For those of you that don't know, on the History channel show, these two guys go out and pick through people's stuff and try to buy things of value that they can sell in their own shop. Some of the stuff they find is really cool. I like old things. I like the idea of finding value in something that somebody else might consider junk. It's like the old saying goes: "One man's trash is another man's treasure." I think this applies to people as well. A lot of the folks I work with are those others go out of their way to avoid, but I believe their lives have value.

Now back to the shop I visited. I took a look around and asked some questions. Unfortunately, My excitement quickly waned. I think a more appropriate saying for this situation would be: "Sometimes, one persons junk is another person's junk." This store had a lot of stuff in it, but nothing of high value. As is the case with many pickers and antique collectors, this store owner might have the good stuff hidden somewhere else, but I do wonder how long a store with stuff nobody wants in it can stay open.

In any event, this was a good reminder for me. I think we often hold on to a lot of junk in our lives that we really have no business holding on to: mentally, emotionally, and physically. We often hold on to memories, grudges, or ill will because we believe we have some kind of right to hold on to them, but in reality, they are just junk. We need to be honest with ourselves, do an inventory, and separate the trash from the treasure. Otherwise, we end up burying ourselves to death in junk, and that's just no way to live.

This week, take some time to think about what you are holding on to. Is it junk, or is it treasure? If you say it is treasure, then you should truly treasure it. However, if you know you are holding on to something in your life that needs to go, be strong enough to let it go. Have a wonderful week, my friends!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Senseless violence toward the homeless must stop

As many of you know from previous posts, I serve the homeless in my community on a regular basis. This week was difficult because earlier in the week a homeless man was stabbed to death. Currently, there are no suspects and no real leads as to who committed the crime. Unfortunately, the community cares very little about the homeless population, so I fear this crime will go unsolved.

The stabbing is one of many crimes committed against the homeless in just the small community I work in. Over the last few months, many of the homeless have told me stories of their stuff being stolen and/or vandalized. Many of them have been attacked for no reason. One lady even had her pet guinea pigs stolen while she was asleep. They were like her children, so she was completely heartbroken.

I'm not sure what would drive anyone to take from those who have so little. Most of the homeless in this community have been homeless for a while. They don't bother anyone. They aren't a burden to the community. They are just trying to live their lives the best they can. I guess I just don't get it. Why not help someone out if you can?

Over time, I have gotten to know quite a few of the homeless in my town. I can tell you that many of them have family and friends that love them. They are not nameless, faceless people. Their lives matter. I know a lot of people will not have any idea what I am talking about. I firmly believe you can tell a lot about someone by how they treat those in need. Moreover, you can tell a lot about someone by the way they treat those who can never repay them.

I don't do what I do for any kind of payment or reward. I know what it is like to live on the streets. Sometimes all you have left is the kindness of strangers, and I can tell you that one kind act can make all the difference in the world. If you can help someone in need, please do so. If you happen to know one of the misguided people who feel the need to harm those in need, please talk to them. Your choice to do right can make all the difference in the world.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. Do the best you can to help others in whatever you can. Have a blessed week, my friends.