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 The Homeless Man Named 'Mike'

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Vulpes
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PostSubject: The Homeless Man Named 'Mike'   Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:06 pm

I was driving home to DFW from the TMEA conference in San Antonio. My venti mocha had finally reached my bladder so I exited in Waco to stop at a gas station.

At the stop light, a man stood holding a sign; a homeless man. He was tall, lanky, but looked clean, at least for a guy living on the streets. He held a cardboard sign that read, "Homeless and hungry. Please help."

I was 3 lanes over and was pondering giving him some cash when the light changed and the opportunity left me.

As I pulled into the gas station I had made my mind up. I went in, did my business, and then perused the isles in search of food. I thought of things that would be good for lasting energy and to get some meat on his bones. Foods with protein, high in carbohydrates and non trans-fats. I found some trail mix, honey granola bars, soups with the easy open lids, and Gatorade.

In total about 10 bucks worth of food in a single plastic bag. 10.00 was more then the couple singles I was going to hand to him from my car window, but I had spent the money on food, what he needed.

So I took the things and got in my car and drove across the busy intersection to a bank parking lot. From there I could whistle to get his attention. He looked up, I waved him over. He picked up his tattered blue backpack, floppy with void. I met him half way with the bag of goods. I shook his hand and said hello, opening the bag and going over the contents. He said, "god bless you" as most homeless do when you give them a hand and asked my name. I told him it and he said his name was Mike. He told me he was "traveling a lot," as most homeless people I've met often have a story they have to tell you why they're down on their luck. With that he walked off, eyes fixed in the bag, towards another parking lot.

As I continued on my way I thought about the event. I knew nothing about this man, why he was living on the streets, or how long. I didn't know if he was a drunk, a criminal, mentally handicapped. Or if he was a family man, a war veteran, a victim of the economy. But what I did know is that he asked for help. This, in our society is a hard thing to do when you really need it. Our sense of pride makes his simple request for help humbling.

I thought about all the things I have, and what I didn't. One of the things I don't have is much money. I had 20 dollars left in my wallet. And not just in my wallet, to my name. That was literally all the money I had. But this guy had nothing. I've had nothing before, personally, but at the same time so much. That and I had family there to pull me back up. They were there to keep food in my stomach and a roof over my head. For all that I am incredibly thankful.

And the last thing I thought about was my outlook on life. Particularly the afterlife, and the fact that I don't believe in one. I find it hard to believe that there are people out there that think that good can only be done through a religion. Or even worse, people who only do good deeds so they can have it on their pearly gate resume. I am a humanist. I believe that this is the ONE life we have and that it s up to humanity itself to make it good or bad, and nothing more. I live my life knowing that my actions will affect other people's lives for the better or worse. No one can know for sure if their actions have afterlife consequences. No one. Period.

Mike was down on his luck. No god was going to help him. No amount of prayers from passers by would nourish the very real hunger in his stomach. I sit back and look at some of the churches just in my local community. I sit and I look at the decadence and ostentatious structures. I think of all the money that went into those monuments of self righteousness and wonder how many Mikes could have been fed with those dollars. How many homeless men and women could be cleaned up, given a suit and tie and a new shot at getting a job and living a life better then the bottom? How many of our scared war veterans or our mentally disabled could be cared for and treated instead of cast aside as low lifes and bums?

I may never know the answer to my own questions and the churches may never change. But I sit there, thinking of all that money and say to myself, "it's only 10 dollars."
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PostSubject: Re: The Homeless Man Named 'Mike'   Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:02 am

^this one deserves an award.......


really vulpes, you hit me just right in there... tsk.....

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PostSubject: Re: The Homeless Man Named 'Mike'   Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:25 am

Amazing. I was surprisingly Touched. True story as well, which makes it all the more incredible.
Bravo

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PostSubject: Re: The Homeless Man Named 'Mike'   Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:47 am

yep... especially how the a certain aspect of the truth is exposed in the article... tsk.... a very good job... ^^

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PostSubject: Re: The Homeless Man Named 'Mike'   Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:36 am

XD see hunny? i'm not the only one who thinks you're amazing. lol.

Great job. Smile <3

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