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December 6, 2014

I saw a homeless man today, who looked as though he was once someone.

He stood on the busy street corner, the sun burning his eyes while the hot pavement blistered his feet.

It was nearly 100 degrees outside and yet he wore his many layers of clothing, composing himself like a regal king.

I knew I would have collapsed under such heat and yet here was this man who thrived under it.

Once a civil servant, lawyer, doctor, father, uncle, son?

I don’t know.

But as he humbly stood at the corner, pacing up and down as he hoped someone would spear him some change or give him the time of day, too proud to beg, I began to have a change of heart.

As I was pondering what his story was, I realized that he was staring at me; we made eye contact,

I looked away. But the look of sorrow/ anger/ regret in his eyes gave me a rush of sadness.

I looked at him again, but his eyes now told me that in some weird way, he was content with what he had.

I realized that despite all the material things I had around me, I was still not content, and here was a man who had nothing and yet, had everything.

The light turned green but I did not move on, rather, I parked my car in a lot and took the bus to work.

I wasn’t exactly experiencing what he was going through, but at least the money that would have been spent on the gas to take me to work would now be used for a better cause.

He will never know that he was the one who gave me the time of day, never realize that he changed my life and taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life,

not to be wasteful.

But maybe he will know,

when he sees me passing by,

greeting him with a silent thank you,

through the window of the bus.

This goes out to the homeless man.

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