The Invisible Man Who Slept in My Garbage Last Night.

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Perhaps you may see him as invisible, but he is in fact, a homeless man sleeping in my apartment's garbage.   You see, I have been staying in Baltimore for most of the summer and I am completely baffled at the sheer amount of homeless people just in the neighborhood I am in.  I am not talking about the somehow freshly showered people holding signs up as you pull into the touristy part of town (the same group of people) and not about the angry people saying the homeless shelter is ten dollars a night and they have two….could you spare eight.

I am talking about men that look like grandpas and women younger than I am who feel so hopeless that they can barely look you in the eyes if you dane to give them a icy water bottle on a ninety degree day.  Such a small act of kindness should not be so rare that they look upon you as a saint or likewise.  

I simply do not understand our lack of humanity of it all.  It is late and I am heading to a new project soon and out of Baltimore.  Their faces haunt me at night.  I do not understand how everyone in this apartment building is not at their windows tonight contemplating how they can help this man tonight.  Perhaps he is invisible to everyone but me?  My heart aches for him and all like him.  What has he done to deserve such a fate?  To think no more of himself than garbage.  To sleep with the rats and roaches.   No matter what someone has done or not done, no one should be without the basic human rights - real food, clean water and a safe bed to sleep at night.

I have watched wealthy people sit at the outside cafes by the water and run hundreds of dollars in alcohol tabs and not offer a sandwich to a homeless man walking by.  I have watched doctors and nurses turn their heads away and cover their coffee as they scoot to the other side of the sidewalk as they walk by.  I have watched people trip over themselves to get doggies at the cafes with their humans a bowl of water.  We would never want the dogs to be thirsty. (Yes, I did this too)  But, these same people did not offer the homeless person walking by a drink of water.

The woman at Whole Foods last week, that truly no one seemed to see or looked toward -  save a tall regal looking, Indian man who walked over to her, gave her what money he had and looked her in the eyes with respect.   She was younger than I am, skin darkened like leather from too much exposure from the sun and she had such despair in her eyes, I could not bare it.  I found her in the store after I paid and offered her a small token to pay for her lunch and she raised her head just enough to mouth the words "thank you".

I think about her.  About all of them.  The man that my son affectionately calls Santa Claus is so very kind and clear minded, I think about him most.  Is he someone father? Someone's grandpa?  Has he worked his whole life and lost it all in the economy?   Most Americans are two paychecks away from being homeless.  So, some compassion for those who are, may not be a bad thing.

Early this week a fundraiser for two puppies was posted, the puppies had incurred twenty thousand dollars in health costs and they are raising money to replace it.  Now please understand and before you reach for the comment button to write me an "animals are people too" comment.  Please don't.  Humans come first and until we take care of and are compassionate to our own, we will never take care of the animals.   How do we pick and choose what animals and people to care about?

A lion is killed and you have movie stars raising money and petitioning to stop the "bad" people.  But we all go through the drive through and get ourselves a factory farmed, tortured burger on the way home from the fundraising and patting ourselves on the back from donating to the poor puppy.  Are the cows not worthy of humane treatment?    You do understand that most humans in the US, if they do not have the proper insurance that pays their specific medical needs with a specific physician  will go without care and suffer long before anyone raises money for their health and wellness. (if ever)

The city has removed half the benches in the area lately.  Is this supposed to deter the homeless from staying?  This is unacceptable.

Yes puppies and lions are great and I have respect for all life.  Truly.  But we must be compassionate and have kindness for everyone. and starting with humans.  No exceptions (save Monsanto.  I have no love for them and they will rot in the fifth ring of hell for what they have done to the farmers and children, moms and dads of the US and around the world.)  Pardon me, but if you know me….you knew I'd have to throw that in.  

This summer I have reached outside my "normal" zone and it feels good and one should always move forward to 'evolve' and grow.   Please understand that through all of this I am not saying empty your pockets to everyone you see.  You must be smart and you must be safe and your children's needs come first.  But, it did not take long in the city to see who needed help and who was running a bit of scam or the like.  Open your hearts and be kind.  Try to let your preconceived opinions of the homeless go.  They are not all "scam artist", drunks or that they are all looking for a free ride.  The vast majority are not and they do not deserve this fate.

Have kindness and gratitude in your day, in your life and help when and as often as you possibly can.  

(please note that big game hunters that kill for the "sport" of it and not to feed their families, deserve nothing less than Monsanto's fate.  Just saying)