Ending Homelessness — Growing Through Giving

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The Question

What can you do to help the homeless? The possibilities are only limited by your own imagination. There are many articles that cover new and innovative ways to help end homelessness. I would encourage readers to feel free to share some of their own ideas in the comments section. In this particular post, however, I am not answering this question. In this post, I want to share what the homeless have done for me.

You may be wondering what I meant by that last statement. Let me explain something that many people may not realize, when you help others in need, you are inadvertently helping yourself as well. That’s not to say that you help others with the intention of receiving anything in return. Indeed, this post is not about selfishness, but rather about the joys of selflessness. I have found that when you are focused on the well-being of others, you tend to grow as a person.

The Photographer

When I started talking with people and hearing their stories, people from all different walks of life, I immediately began to see the fallacies of the stigma attached to homelessness. I met a gentlemen in Portland once; he was a sports photographer before the recession hit in 2008. During the recession he lost work, but sadly, that was not all that he lost. The only family he had was his wife, that is, until he lost his job, and that is when she left him. Without a job, and with no family for emotional or financial support, he wound up on the streets. Many hard-working people have lost everything and are now homeless; the stigma that all homeless individuals are simply lazy, is simply untrue. The stigma that homeless people have chosen this life either because they like it or as a result of their life choices, is also untrue in the majority of cases. Many people have made pretty good life choices overall, worked hard, but still ended up homeless due to any number of circumstances. Homelessness can, and it does, happen to anyone at anytime.

The Challenge

I have learned to look at matters beyond the surface. Having been close to homelessness myself, I empathize with those who are or have been homeless in their lifetime. I have been corrected & humbled. The-things-you-do-for I have learned that the joy of serving others supersedes the joy of being served. And with that, I will end this post by encouraging you readers, please do what you can for those in need, simply because it is the right thing to do and for no other reason. If you do this, and you find that you agree that the joy of serving others supersedes the joy of being served; please share your experience with others.

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Writing 201 – Supernal Life

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Today’s Assignment Word prompt – Future Form – Sonnet Device – Chiasmus

Spending the future thinking;
Thinking of the future.
What happened to the future?
The future has become the past.

Have I wasted it all away?
Pity the thought; so long as
I still have a breath to breathe,
I will breathe a breath of reprieve.

The future still exists,
And I shall live it gloriously.
Gloriously, I shall live it.

Time is too Precious to Waste.
Waste not, O Precious Time.
March on towards the supernal life.

Writing 201- Landscape Scenes

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The   sun   resting   upon   the   mountain top, the 
sihoulette   of  trees,  and 
sunflowers  in   the  foreground.
A  scene  that   speaks  to   me.

Desert  canyon   walls,   purple 
skies,   and   snaking    river.
For   the   foreground,  desert   Cacti.
A   scene   that  speaks to   me.

The   sun  as   it   kisses  the  sea,  waves
crashing   ashore,  and   frozen  in  time.
For   the   foreground,  colorful  starfish   on  a rock.
A   scene   that   speaks   to   me.

Writing 201 – Fingers Entwined, Prose Poetry, Assonance

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She runs her fingers down my cheek as she says “Hey dad, hey dad!” over and over again. I ask her what she needs; she replies with a voice sweeter than honey, “I love you!” She loves me. So I take her hand in mine, our fingers entwined, and I gently kiss her little hand. I tell her “I love you so much more than you know.” As she hears these words from me, I see the smile on her face stretch far and wide. Her eyes could light even the darkest of night; like the brightest star in all the heavens. If this was like the stories we tell; we’d live in a kingdom hidden within an enchanted forest. I’d be storming a castle to rescue my love, and riding off into the sunset; our hearts beating faster like a beat in a chorus. She is my princess, and I am her prince charming.

Writing 201- An Ode to Memories

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For you, my memories
Of such precious value.
For you, I have dedicated
This drawer.

Under lock and key
There lies within, no frivolity.
For you alone, for you
my memories.

These photos, these wonderful photos.
Singular moments, captured in time,
but played in succession.
Do you see now, my memories?

Writing 201 – Ballad of the Family Caregiver

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Always looking out for others, always.
Working to help them heal, to make a meal
Always helpful, always.

Working sunrise to sundown, working
Gardener, cleaner, pharmacist, and chauffeur 

Always looking out for others, always.
Working to bring out their best, to leave them blessed
Always helpful, always.

Working sunrise to sundown, working
Family, friend, therapist, and preacher

Always looking out for others, always.
Working to show them love, on earth as it is above
Always helpful, always.

Daily Prompt: Close Call

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A beautiful, warm, and sunny day in september. I head out on my Harley Davidson sportster 1200 for a ride with my dad and friend. About an hour into our ride we stop at a little campground. We talked about things going on in our lives, while enjoying a good cigar.

I often think about time, and how precise it had to be for the events that occurred to unfold; surely there must be a purpose to come of all this. Had we talked just a little while longer, or a little while less, what happened would not have happened at all.

We finished our cigars and our conversation. We got on our bikes, and rode off towards our destination. The wind felt nice on such a warm day, and nothing feels quite so freeing as riding a motorcycle. We came around a blind corner, and there it was. A bus-driver had parked a school bus not on the straight stretch directly behind and nearer the children’s house, but instead on the exit of a blind corner. My dad and friend, riding directly in front of me and having been riding much longer than I, pulled off a quick stop after straightening out first. Unfortunately, I was in a lean and braked hard as to avoid hitting anything or anyone. Rolling across the pavement I saw glimpses of blue sky followed by dark pavement over and over. When I finally came to a stop I sat up on my knees holding my right arm (I am right handed), and I was looking at all the blood. Thankfully, both my dad and friend are medical professionals, especially considering it took 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

Dad: Checking my spine and neck for injuries… “Does this hurt?”

Me: “No, but my mouth is as dry as a desert, I need water.”

Dad: “You can’t have any water right now buddy.” He gently removes my helmet.

Me: Seeing blood all over and not knowing where it is all coming from I asked “Am I going to die?”

Dad: “No you’re not going to die!”

Me: “I need to know the truth. Don’t be like the movies and just say I’m not while I slowly slip away!”

Friend: “You are not going to die. It is really bad though, and you will likely need to have 2-3 surgeries.”

Me: “Okay, call and tell my wife and daughter I love them!”

That was obviously just a short transcript of our dialogue. There was no cell service and the bus driver had left the scene without calling for help over her radio. Our friend walked down the road to the nearest house and used their home phone to call for help. It took 45 minutes for EMS to arrive on scene, thank God for our bodies mechanisms that allow us to not feel pain for a time; it got me by until they arrived with morphine.

I was transferred to the nearest hospital where I stayed overnight. I had a surgery where they just cleaned out the wound to avoid infection until they could get me a bed at a different hospital. My elbow had shattered, the bone came all the way out and then sucked back in, leaving a big hole. I also broke my left knee; the tibia where it connects to the ACL. The next day I was transferred to another hospital where there were specialist surgeons. I can walk now and move my arm a little, but still missing most range of motion. I will be having a third surgery soon though that the surgeons believe will really improve the range of motion.

This daily post prompt was about a close call. The close call was death. Not everyone survives a motorcycle accident like that. I thank God that I am alive, it is by His grace alone. And I believe He will restore me in His timing. In the meantime I am very thankful for my loving wife and family who have been very supportive.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Close Call.”