Friday, July 18, 2014

Tuning In to the Universe

Original was written using voice type on the run - corrections made 7/19

For a moment I thought about not writing this blog post.  The last thing I would want for this to be perceived as is the desire to gain any recognition for having done something.  After thinking about the experience that I had, I felt it was necessary to take that risk and share my story; you’ll see why by the end.
I like to believe that if you take the time, you can find beauty everywhere.  I have been here in Las Vegas since Monday. If you have never been to Las Vegas it’s a place where you are never more than a stone’s throw from any one of the seven deadly sins.  However, there is also much beauty to be seen.  There are countless creative souls in a myriad of different situations whether it be food, entertainment, or some other form of the arts -you will find it here in Las Vegas without having to look very far.  Of course, also without looking far, you will find your share of vagrants, thieves, and other sorts of riff-raff.

One of the things you will see whether you want to or not, are beggars.  Before I continue, I feel the need to clarify that I do not use the word beggars lightly, or in a derogatory way; it is simply the proper word to use to describe the people that I am referring to.  Some beggars will be vocal and ask you for money or some other help, some will simply hold up a sign, some are in search of money to purchase food and some, unfortunately to purchase alcohol or cigarettes.

Having been to Las Vegas many times, having lived and worked in New York City and traveled a number of major cities across the country, I’ve seen homeless people before, I’ve seen beggars before.  Regardless of the context, from a human perspective it’s understandable to want to help all of them but it’s also a reality that it is very difficult to make a significant difference; or is it?

The truth is, at least as I see it, to simply go about your day most of the time you have to walk past these people and simply do just that, walk past them.  What I hope you believe too is that walking past them does not mean it is OK to ignore them completely.  I always try to be cognizant of the fact that whatever it was that got that person into that situation, I am fortunate enough to be in a better situation.

As I was walking the Las Vegas strip today, as expected, there were the usual large number of beggars.  I was walking across a footbridge that spans across Las Vegas Boulevard and there was this one beggar who was sitting on the floor under the beating sun of 105° holding up a small sign that read, “just need a little help”.  The man was curled up into a ball, shaking, and clearly in a bad way.  I don’t know what it was about this particular man or this particular moment, but the very instant that I saw this man I knew what I had to do.  I continued the rest of the distance of the footbridge that led into the hotel and went into the shop that was right at the door.  I ordered a sandwich, and brought it back to the man I had seen.  He thanked me, I turned around and walked back into the hotel and as soon as I got inside I began to cry almost uncontrollably.

Like I said earlier, I have seen many homeless people, many beggars, and have helped others in the past.  Just in the time I have been here in Las Vegas, I have seen dozens of beggars, so why did this one man at this particular time draw so much emotion from me?  I don’t know that I will ever really understand why or if it is even necessary to understand why.  I simply think that like I said earlier, while it’s impossible to help everyone, it is not impossible to make a difference.  In this particular instance, the world was telling me it was time to make a difference right now.

The reason I’m telling this story, and the only reason, is that I want you to do the same thing.  Listen to the universe, whether in your heart or soul that means listening to a god, to a spirit, or just listening to your heart, I am asking you to listen.  It’s not always as easy as it sounds, the world around us is noisy and that noise often clouds and hinders that which we are meant to hear.

So while the possibility exists that by having typed this post, someone will read it and say he’s just to tooting his own horn, if one person gets the message, the real message, then I care not what anyone thinks of me.

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