The stretch of High street along campus can be a very interesting scene. Everyday as I walk on my way to class and work and back, I see people of different kinds.
I see college students. I see business owners walking along for a lunch break. I see gorgeous people and not-so-attractive people. Some standing waiting for the bus and some jogging and biking to wherever they go to.
Of course, I can’t miss those homeless people asking for spare change after performing an overdone act. One raps. The other standing around proclaiming “help is on the way!” Be sure to raise your thumb for a pick-up ride.
I wonder if they have families or friends to contact. Or maybe their friends and family have abandoned them. I ask myself if they are aware of a concept called second chance. I wonder if they’ve truly given up on life. I wonder if they have a purpose other than to have people open up their purses or to reach down their pockets probing for dimes and quarters.
Then there are people who work for the local businesses along the street. I bet they see a lot of people too. Each with their own story. I wonder if they enjoy what they do for a living, whether being a part-time cashier in a bookstore, retail salesperson, or a pizza sub maker in the back kitchen. They deal with people everytime. Nice ones, jerks, old and young ones alike.
One employee of that stands out in my memory was a haircutter. He made me sport a really short hair way back last year around Thanksgiving. I liked that cut.
Now I’m not the type of person who chitchats with their haircutter for fear that I might spew out some ridiculous comment that I end up with an irreversible pineapple haircut, but we ended up having a nice talk. He mentioned that I was one of the few people who seemed to actually care about outward appearance, probably because of the nature of our placement at that time.
As skin-deep as that sounded like, it was more immersing than it seemed to be. It turned out that this guy used to be addicted to meth for a long time. Wow… That was before. He underwent therapy and completed his rehab program. He now lives at a shelter downtown and he takes the bus everyday to work to cut hair. He is a homeless man who’s trying to get his life back together. No family or friends, and it’s unfortunate that his family shunned him for his past but the loss is not on him. They might not hear the news of the new life he worked upon himself but I was there to hear what he’s got to say.
From his own mouth: “There’s a fine like between humility and self-embarassment but from someone like me, it’s a crystal clear division.”
There are people we see around that are closed books. Some are lost themselves in a string of bad events. Others are hurt inside, stricken with hopelessness and lack of light. It’s surprising that these people are sitting, waiting, or standing right next to you. I try my best and I encourage you to take a moment to smile and take a peek into their life. You’d be surprised at how fortunate and blessed you really are.
Now excuse me for I need to get a haircut done.