hope flows

What it’s all about:

“the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue.”

I love the concept. Focus attention on an issue, and make a valuable difference. I have 30 minutes left to post on Blog Action Day, so here we go.

I don’t have an organization to point you to to reach out and make a difference. If you’re looking for one, maybe the List of 88 ways to fight poverty can help. Or, hop on over to advergirl, where I was first introduced to this whole campaign. My approach to fighting poverty is a little more hands-on. Get ready, it’s complicated: When someone in need asks for help, help.

On an almost-daily basis, as I walk the couple of blocks to work from my parking spot, I get the opportunity to help someone who needs a hand. It might be a ride to a shelter, or McDonald’s. It might be a couple of dollars. Every once in a while, it’s just a kind smile and an ear to listen to a story. It doesn’t take much to make a momentary difference in someone’s life. It’s simple really, I just try to always keep a couple of singles with me all the time, and then when I walk through downtown Little Rock, I keep my eyes open for folks that might need some hope.

This isn’t a heroic thing, it’s a human thing. The line between living on the street and living in an air conditioned home is incredibly thin. The line between sanity and insanity is even thinner. When I was in college, I had the unplanned opportunity to share my house with a couple of homeless guys. When I say share my house, that’s an exaggeration. I lived inside the house with my roommates, while Mike and Jacob lived on our large covered porch. But any time that the temperature hit freezing or below Mike and Jacob slept inside in our warm room. (to save money, we only heated/cooled one room in the old house, and all the roommates would tote our sleeping bags into the warm/cold room at night to sleep)

How we met Jacob and Mike, and came to ask them if they’d like to stay on our porch is a long story. A much shorter story is that having known these men changed my life forever. The year that we all lived together I learned the simple fact that people are people. There’s not much that separates us from one another, except for the walls that we build over time.

Mike found himself outside of my wall of “normal” because fighting in Viet Nam had robbed him of his clarity, and he had trouble balancing the real world and an imaginary one. Jacob’s path to the margin of society was marked by addiction, and the shame he carried along with it. I realized way back then, that it wouldn’t take much for me to find myself in their shoes. It’s totally by Grace that I haven’t. And that’s why I choose to share hope with anyone who needs a little bit.

And because today is Blog Action Day I’ve jumped on this soapbox to ask you to keep your eyes open as you walk through your day. You’ll find folks all around that need hope, and if your reading this, I’m 99% sure that you have the ability to share a little.

I’m out of preachy words now…

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3 responses to “hope flows

  1. Pingback: Blogging against poverty « Educationload·

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