I have been seeing this homeless man on the sidewalk every time I went to buy things at the supermarket. I fondly refer to him as Bob Marley due to his unkempt hair. He doesn’t have a roof over his head, eats whatever food given to him by passersby, and drinks water from a filthy canal.
I normally didn’t give anything to beggars and homeless people as I didn’t want to encourage them in doing what they do. I believed they have to work and do something and not rely on other people’s charity. As I grew older (and hopefully wiser), I began experiencing things that were beyond my control and forced me to open my eyes. Now I understand why there are a lot of homeless people.
What is the point of this blog entry? The point is this. Not all homeless people and beggars are lazy bastards and just want charity. I don’t believe anyone would want to end up in the streets. There are a lot of reasons as to why people end up begging. It could be that they have disabilities and it prevents them from doing work. It could be that they were too poor to begin with to afford an education in a school. In some countries, like the Philippines, most companies choose candidates with a college degree. So if you haven’t finished college, you’re most likely to fail in getting a decent job. It could also just be plain bad luck. Just like when failing to meet a deadline, or performing poorly in sports, or failing to boost sales, there are hundreds of reasons why people end up in the streets. Some commit crime and some beg for money or sleep quietly in the sidewalk. Which do you prefer?
Another thing to remember is this: if you think your problems are ruining your life or you feel that you’re down on your luck, just think of these people. They barely have anything to eat and yet some of them are happier than most people with more than enough money. I’m guessing that your problems are petty compared to these financially challenged people… unless, of course, you’re in a life or death situation or immediate danger.
One more thing. Give a rich man a dollar and give a hobo the same amount. Who would most likely be happy? Poor people tend to be more grateful and value the little things most rich people take for granted. The less you have, the more you appreciate the little things in life.
Back to Bob Marley. I have been giving him food, safe drinking water and clothing whenever I pass by, but I don’t earn much myself and would really like to continue helping him. Seeing him write on notebooks and papers, and scribble on dozens of pages kind of touched me in an odd way. As an aspiring novelist, it intrigued me as to what happened to him that made him end up in the streets. He might have been writer of some kind. Who knows. I am trying to slowly warm up to him and greeting him whenever I pass him by and hopefully he will remember me. But as of now, he has not once looked me in the eyes.
With that said, be thankful with what you have and stop whining about your problems. Be appreciative of the seemingly small things, and be nice to hobos! Don’t abuse or exploit them. If you find it in your heart to help them, I salute you! I wish I could do more for Bob Marley but my finances are barely enough to support myself. I would personally look after him if I have sufficient money and give him a shot at living a decent life. I will continue to do what I can for this man so wish me luck and pray to the deity you believe in for Bob to have a better life.
Note: This is my first blog entry so please bear with me.