Day 4 – December 26, 2010 – Save Our City

Start from the beginning

Save our City

I started heading towards Main and Hastings when I was greeted by a man named Dino.  Dino’s philosophy on life was quite simple; every day is a like a New Year and try not to make the same mistake twice.  Material things in life are meaningless, they come and go, but the smile I gave him made his day.  It was really that simple.  Just stopping and having a quick chat can uplift a person’s mood considerably.

One great thing about the homeless community is that they literally do not judge me at all.  I haven’t showered for four days, I have been wearing the same outfit for four days and I always carry the same garbage bag with the same contents for four days.  And through all of this, whenever I greet a man or a woman on the streets, I get a “hello” in return.

These people do not care if I drive a nice car, have a beautiful girlfriend, own nice clothes, have a great education or have any past accomplishments.  The fact is that they recognize me as a fellow human being and I provide them with the same recognition.

Imagine that I had to attend a billionaire’s club meeting.  As soon as I enter this club, I will be judged.  I would have to prove to them my past accomplishments, how wealthy I am and my education level.  We would notice that the wealthiest communities have to market themselves just to gain the respect of other members, whereas in the other case, the homeless community, you are as you are.

I’m hanging out in the back alley by Water Street again.  A man named Owen was walking his dog along that stretch.  I started asking him how he feels about the homeless here in Vancouver.  We both agreed that it is a horrible situation to be in.  We also agreed that people here have a lot of potential.  I was surprised to hear that Owen and his friends were considering a similar project to mine.  It seems like more and more people are warming up to the idea that the homeless aren’t evil, bad, lazy or dangerous people.  But instead that many contributing factors and circumstances in life lead them to where they are today.

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