As long as I’ve been in the shoes of a homeless person, I’ve had time to meditate and I’ve discovered some amazing things.
The invisible man. If you’re standing on the sidewalk with bare, muddy feet and a dirty paper cup in front of you with a crumpled Moldovan leu inside, you’re an invisible man. Hundreds of people walk past you, but hardly anyone looks at you; they all pretend you don’t exist. Even though I tried to get their attention, I couldn’t get any reaction. They all pretend not to see the grimy, messy old man lying in the dust. Only one kind-hearted woman left me a few coins, thank you.
The time machine. It very rarely happens that you stop. Letting go of the hustle and bustle, the stream of messages, the black screen. Just freeze. Watching people slowly pass you by, birds fighting for crumbs, the clouds of dust that the wind blows up. It’s like stepping into a parallel reality where time slows down and details appear that you don’t see in normal life. All you have to do is turn off your phone and sit down on the ground. And slow down.
Value what you have. But the main thing I’ve realized is that we don’t really appreciate what we have. To consider yourself successful you don’t need millions, huge houses and power. It’s enough to have a place to wash and sleep, something to eat, a chance to hug your loved ones. It’s so little and so much at the same time.
Indeed, those who live on the street deserve sympathy and support, even if it seems to you that they can earn their own food. It costs you nothing to give them a few lei, even if you do it to be proud of yourself.
To them, it doesn’t matter why you do it.
And if you don’t believe me, just put on some old clothes, take off your shoes, sit down on the hot asphalt somewhere in the city, hide your phone and put a paper cup in front of you.