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Posts Tagged With: homeless people

Everybody Look! What’s Going Down??

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.

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Categories: American government, equal rights, Homeless people, life lessons, love, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shadows In Your Face

 

Far too old to be living like this, but don't tell him that. He's happy. He sleeps in his truck in parking lots all over North Florida.

Far too old to be living like this, but don’t tell him that. He’s happy. He sleeps in his truck in parking lots all over North Florida.

 

Many of you have followed my excursions for a good year now. You know that I try to keep things as real as possible. I’ve shown you all some of the good things about life and some of the things that truly stink sometimes too. In the end, I’ve always tried to keep my messages positive. I do believe that life is what you make of it.

That said, when I went through my horrible year last year, I was reminded of how much we all depend on each other and how hard like can be. I felt that God himself had spoken to me and I came to an immediate realization – an epiphany – that I’d wasted a great deal of time that I hadn’t put to good use. I made a promise to myself and to the Universe that I was going to work harder to help others. My purpose is now to do what I can to help others and speak for those who have no voice of their own.

I’d like to tell you about my latest project. This is in alignment with my goals and my passions. I’ve decided to put my author skills to work on a project of almost epic proportions. I’m going to re-enter my life as a homeless person, in order to tell the story from their point of view. How can you tell someone about being hungry if you have never truly been hungry? How can you describe the fear of having no roof over your head if you have never known this fear yourself?

Not only am I going to do a book, but also a documentary while I am living in the life. When I am finished, there will be a book, a documentary and a photo book complete. ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE DOCUMENTARY AND BOOK WILL GO TO THE HOMELESS. The money will go to organizations that help to feed, clothe and provide medication to those who are homeless. I will be very selective over who gets funds; making sure that 100% of the money goes to the people that it is meant for. If not, then I shall set-up a separate charity entirely for this purpose.

I’m currently working on some products for sale to help raise money for the documentary. I’ll be opening a Cafe Press store to the public in a few days. I’m working on product designs at the moment. I have an IndieGoGo campaign set-up to take donations at the above link. I implore you to consider helping this project come to fruition. Not only will it bring to light some of the issues happening with the homeless community, but it will also help to set in place some programs that can offer more assistance to these people. Too many are falling through the cracks because they can’t qualify for help. Some can’t even seek traditional help because of mental issues that prevent them from even trying, much less even being aware that there is help available for them.

Today, I simply ask you to take a look at the campaign page and to do one of two things: 1)Donate if you can or 2) pass it along to others who may be able to help.

Thanks for your time and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

DONATE HERE

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, Politics, self-help | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Waiting On The World To Change

We Are Always Where We Are Supposed To Be Each Moment of Each Day

I had some fantastic conversations with people over the last month. Many people might argue that the last month was a very bad one for me. Honestly, I’ve had worse and I have had so many things that have taught me about perspective over the last year that I don’t see it that way at all. In fact, I view it as an opportunity to look deeper at the situation and take the chance I’ve been given to make a change.

Let’s take a look at things from a different perspective. A month ago, I found myself stuck in the parking lot at a Walmart in an area of town that wasn’t perfect but it was close to the plasma center where I could donate plasma for a few bucks here and there when I needed cash. I was close to food, gas and all the necessities I could want. I stayed there a month. I’d make my way to the Pilot station a couple miles away when I could afford the gas. I’d pay $10 and take a shower and wash my clothes. Then I’d make my way back to Walmart. I sat in the McDonald’s and worked. I’ve written this blog and all my books from the road. Not one single word has been written from anywhere I would have called ‘home’ in any way. A remarkable feat perhaps? I’ve written 5 books this year and published them, all from restaurant tables and fast food booths.

Chick-Fil-A Management Proves They Really Do Suck

I think I am proof that you can overcome most any obstacles in life if you really want to. You can also make a difference in other lives, no matter how bad you have it in your own. For example, Shana was stuck at the McDonald’s when I arrived on the scene. She’d been living in her car since escaping an abusive boyfriend in Maine. She came back to FL only to find that her family had disowned her for running off with him to begin with. She’d had an alcohol problem so her family didn’t want her back in their lives. They lived right across town and left her there to suffer. One night, Chick-Fil-A had her car towed so she was without anything to sleep in or get around. She was totally stranded. I thought that they considered themselves a Christian owned company? I won’t get started since they hate my kind and I steer clear of them all together. This kid, in her 20’s was in a legitimate mess now.

I got to know her over sweet tea and sharing a booth to use our computers. I gave her my extra cell phone charger because it fit her phone and hers had been towed away in her car, along with all her clothes and possessions. I bought her a couple burgers one day when I friend of mine sent me fifty bucks and then refused to let me pay her back, claiming it was a Christmas present. God has been good to me. I’ve been blessed with good people. I used the money to buy her something to eat. I spoke to the manager at McDonald’s about the girl. He told me that she’d been there non-stop for two days and I explained to him that she was homeless and had no where to go. Would he mind letting her sleep in a booth overnight without hassling her? He graciously agreed and told me he felt terrible – had he known he would have told her how to get to the shelter. I took the information about the shelter. Shana had no way to get there and at the time, I had no gas or oil money to take her either.

The next night, I saw a cop and I approached her and talked to her about Shana. The cop was a great woman and I think that most cops are great people. They are there to help, not hassle. She told me that she would take Shana to the shelter herself. I went into McDonald’s and I talked to Shana, because I knew she was petrified of cops because of her previous history. I told her that they just wanted to help her. She hugged me and went with the cop to the shelter. That’s one kid off the street. I won’t say what I think about her family.

A wall paper

Burr Redeems His Generation In My Eyes

A few days later, I met Burr. Mister “Thug” but he had the guts to come up and ask if he could sit with me so he could charge his cell phone. He was a perfect gentleman and I could tell he meant no harm whatsoever. He sat down and we ended-up having a fantastic conversation. This kid quoted Henry Ford and I told him all about Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie. We talked business. Burr was fascinated with me working for myself and writing books. He was running his own resale business and operating by getting freebies from Craigslist and then taking them to a location and basically “yard selling” them for profit. Not a bad idea. I’d once thought of it myself. The things some people away are good! I was happy to have met this kid. I gave him some advice, he wrote down titles of books I suggested and I honestly felt better about the future of the world after talking to this fella.

Yesterday, I bumped into a couple who recognized me from another day they were in McDonald’s. I told them my story. We chatted about life in general. I’ve had AMAZING conversations with people young and old. I’ve learned something in the last month. We ALL want the same things. People just want to be happy. People are complaining and wanting peace and a better life than what we have now. There is an underlying agreement that treating others with more kindness is what is needed.

When Perfect Strangers Make You Weep

As I was getting ready to fix my oil leak, I stood in line and watched a woman struggling with her boxes. Things fell out of her cart. I helped her and two others moved to help. We all had a laugh in line. She mentioned that kindness today was so hard to find but seemed more genuine when you did find it. She said she was doing the 26 Random Acts of Kindness this year and had already paid for someone’s gas – $26 – just a couple of days before. She said the man looked down and out and looked just like her younger brother whom she hadn’t seen in a long time. She paid for his gas and she said he broke down and cried and hugged her. Then she cried. Everyone in line at Walmart was choked-up.

Why We Are Where We Are – Perspective!

This morning, my dog insisted on going the way he wanted when doing his morning business. He drug me onto the sight of a mattress in the woods, with a bottle of Mountain Dew sitting next to it. I realized that we’d stumbled across some homeless person’s sleep spot. Tomorrow morning, so I don’t run into them and embarrass anyone or put myself in any potential danger, I will leave off a bag of chips and another soda. If it is gone the next morning, I’ll leave more. If I am sure they are coming still, I will leave a blanket too.

You see, I believe that the way MY life is going is fine. I believe that I am where I am SUPPOSED TO BE. The fact that I need tires and have to stay here a few days to a week … well, that just means that I’m going to be needed here by someone. There’s important business at hand – changing the world.

In 2013, I implore you to look around yourself. Listen to the people around you. Someone close to you is suffering, I guarantee it. Step up to the plate, this is your chance to knock it out of the park. Take another look at your life. For example, if I’d just seen my oil leak as a huge and awful thing that was meant to just keep me down I could have easily become depressed. I could have sunk so low into my own grief that I might have become angry and grumpy with people. Instead, I chose to take a different perspective on it and look at what happened. Sometimes bad things happen for a reason, they really do! When you want to move on and you can’t, there is a reason that you are supposed to be where you are for the time being. Try saying “okay” and opening your eyes and ears, knowing that the opportunity to touch a life is in the works and you should get ready. I promise that it happens!

Categories: life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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