My day started-off having some fun with a fella who thinks he knows everything. Let’s put this into perspective for you…let me set the scene, so to speak. A couple of days ago, I posted a link for a book I was giving away free for a few days. Other Amazon authors can back me on this and I’m sure they will. When you publish a book on Amazon, you get five days each quarter that you may give this book away for free on their site. Does this put any money in your pocket? No!
Some people argue that it improves your book’s ranking…and it may…but only for a couple of days. The biggest thing that we get out of it is the exposure to new people who may not otherwise read our books. That is it; nothing else to be gained and certainly nothing financially. Sometimes, I’ll see a short increase in sales of my other books. That just tells me that they enjoyed my book and may like to try another. Great…but I’m still not getting rich by selling a few more books in comparison to the loss you take in the books you give away. I have away 192 copies of this book, this time. That is about 400 copies of that book alone, this year.
So…this fella comments on the link, “so in other words..you want the cash.” Now, I rarely use the word stupid…but I think it! After a few comments back and forth, I let him know that I’m really just trying to get the book in the hands of suicidal people or people who KNOW suicidal people. It comes out the he is an accountant. Wow…really? You are an accountant and couldn’t figure out that FREE equated to $0 and that 192 multiplied by $0 is …ummm ZERO? I imagine that he is online so much because business is slow?
The fact is that I don’t care what this guy thinks of me. I am not concerned with the people who do not care about the things going on in the world. I am not going to waste my time trying to change a shallow mind. What I am seeking are those who have an open mind. Are you troubled with the world the way it is? Do you question your own existence and your purpose? Do you want to know what the meaning behind your life is or why you are constantly besieged by challenges that seem completely overwhelming? Do you question pain? Do you feel like giving up but just know that there is a reason that you don’t – even when you can’t explain it? YOU are the person I am reaching out to!
We cannot change everything over night, but we can make a difference. It takes one step at a time and the first BIG step is to realize that we are all connected. You are a miracle. Look at yourself in the mirror. Your body completely replaces every SINGLE cell every three years. Your skin is completely replaced every few weeks. At the very molecular core of your being, you are unique and you are a miracle. Everything had to happen in completely unique and random order so that you were conceived to begin with. Do you have any idea HOW MANY random things had to happen just for you to be conceived? To be who you are? Your entire life is a movie that plays out with multiple plot twists, all based on the decisions that you make and the roll of the dice. You spend your entire life being prepared for your destiny!! I do not care who you are or how bad things have gotten … you my friend, are amazing and you deserve to be here.
It is said that when you remain quiet, that you take the side of the oppressor in any situation. I used to be silent. It wasn’t until I found my voice that I began to feel free. The more I told people about my own situations, the easier it became to accept and sort through those things in my life. I realize that I’m lucky. I realize that I am the end result of a billion different possibilities that ‘could have been.’ You are no longer a “could have” you have become a “you are” and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will realize your own potential.
What do you choose to do with this knowledge? This is truly a personal decision and I don’t knock what anyone chooses. I WILL say that when you have the opportunity to touch others and you choose not to, I feel it is a sad waste. That’s my personal feeling and has become my personal decision. That isn’t a judgment at all, so please do not see it that way. It’s just that there is so much beauty to be gained in reaching out to others. I refer to humility all the time. I think when we have learned true humility, that we become more selfless. I don’t see it as a bad place to be. That’s my personal take. Yours may be different and so be it. You won’t hear my messages or my voice.
I’ve committed myself to a few causes and they all are about human interests. One of my pet projects is the “Shadows In Your Face” project. I’ve decided to take the next year doing research, filming and even staying in shelters and even a few nights actually on the street. I will be doing my best to expose the way that the homeless are treated like cattle, herded into facilities out of view and how they are often pushed out of the way and not really helped by the very organizations that claim to be helping. City governments work to appease the wealthy by ‘getting them out of view’ and shuffling them to other cities and locations off the beaten path, where they are often forgotten. The system isn’t designed to help these people and their civil rights are often tromped on, while they are treated as a problem and not treated as people.
This video was shot with my cell phone, in the dark – so it’s not fantastic quality. This is just a glimpse of the world that is there in front of your face. There are MANY people living in parking lots in their campers. Many more of them are sleeping the cars that you see parked here and there, in between the campers. It’s a whole ‘underworld’ of people who have been hit hard by the economy.
It is important for me to point out that when the documentary is made for sale to the public, that every penny will go to aid the homeless in some way, whether with clothing, food, shelter or much needed medication. I hope to make a difference, even if it is just for a few people. To me, this will make the entire year worth it. I’m not doing this for myself in any way at all. I’m doing this to put the issue – the people who live in the shadows – right in your face. For the last year, I’ve met many homeless people and I’ve done my best to pass on their stories here. Now, for one year, I will make it my focus. I’m attempting to raise money right now, for the things that I’ll need to make this happen. I need cameras, some editing software and a little money to cover the few expenses that will surely arise. I’ve set the goal at $10k but I know this is lofty. I plan to go forward with the project no matter how much I raise and I do have other fundraiser in the works.
I am seeking fiscal sponsorship to help control the funds of the money from the project. I’ll be picky, but hope to find a non-profit that will help me handle the funds in a way that sees to it that the money is spent in the best ways possible and ensure that 100% of the funds go to the people who need them and not to administration costs.
I’m asking that you take a look at the project and try to see the potential good that could come from it. If you have anything to offer at all…used equipment, assistance in spreading the message, connections with other homeless person projects, etc…get in touch with me. Maybe you are someone who just has time and can help to spread the word somehow? I’m open to all suggestions. One way or the other, this project IS going to happen and I will not be deterred.