My friend Richard.
A man of wisdom.
A respectful man.
A modest man.
A man of character.
But above all he is a good friend.
Not everyone may see him like that. From a glance from afar he is just another homeless man in the Deli corner. But once a closer look is taken, he is another soul just like you and I. There are some people who come into our lives and teach us a lesson or serve as a blessing.
I met him on a Wednesday night when something told me to take him a meal that was left over. When my sister and I walked up to him and handed it to him, he has this look in his eye of loneliness. In life we meet people from all walks of life and more chances than not, we do not understand why people are in the place that they are.
Once he had the bag in his hand, he looked into my eyes and said, “How did you know I was hungry,” with tears rolling down his pale cheeks. I think it is the piece of me that is compassionate about those less fortunate than me. He was telling us about his life story, how he had worked hard his whole life and now at the age of 52, bad luck and the wrong doings of his own family has left him on the street.
This is the conversation where it all began, one small conversation. Every time we drive by that corner, he is always there talking to someone, smiling, helping kids cross the street and always waves to my family and I.
There are always people who have a personality that grabs the attention and heart of others, such as my new friends Richard. Even without asking anyone for money, people always give him money because of his friendly manner. He is different from most people we may meet on the day to day basis.
From the days since that Wednesday night, he talked with my father on the daily basis. He came to the door today. It was cold out, very breezy out. We let him and had dinner with him as a family. He is such a polite man. He said the prayer and had all of my sisters and I laughing with his life story. A man who knows a lot about wisdom, peace, love and family. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to and share their feelings with. Richard can talk for hours sharing his life experience. Sometimes you will be placed in someone’s path to be a pair of ears for them to express themselves.
People may be homeless but we never know the story behind it. We should never treat them differently, because they are someone’s brother/sister, son/daughter, father/mother etc. Next time we see or walk pass a homeless person, always put yourself in their shoes.
There is so much more to say but the main thing I have learned is that family is not necessarily those who you are blood related to but those whom make you happy and smile. There will always be people who you do good to but will repay you with a wrong. But like Richard said, “if you do good, good will be done to you, if you surround yourself with good people you will be good but if not you will turn bad.”
In life we become too comfortable with the lifestyle and things we have that we forget about those who live day to day with less than half of what we have. Never complain about what you do not have and think about those that do not even come close to having the things that we do half.
A college degree is not needed to serve someone. We should always look to serve someone else because there will be a time in your life where you will need help. Pride is something we should all let go of and realize that at the end of the day we are all humans and as neighbors on this planet we should look for protect and help others less fortunate than others.
In order to leave a footprint in someone else’s life all we need is a caring heart.