I saw you sitting just outside the lot with your dog. I watched you for awhile and wondered what your story was. I saw your sign but couldn’t make out what it said. I felt really sad for you. My heart hurt for you.
As we pulled out we had to stop the RV because the hood popped open by accident. We were 10 feet away from you. I watched you sit and shiver. It looked like you were crying.
I’m so sorry.
I still couldn’t read your sign so if you needed money I couldn’t have helped you anyway. We had none. We barely had two cents to rub together. But we had food. Lots of it.
But I didn’t get out to see what you needed.
I was totally selfish
I wondered if I should get out and ask what you needed. I wondered if I should get out and at least get you some food. I wondered if you just needed money for drugs.
I wondered a lot of things.
Once our issue was fixed we drove away. And I didn’t stop thinking about you and how selfish I felt for not offering to help you.
I’m so sorry.
But I have a good excuse.
My friend and I set out on a leisurely cross country trip in this RV starting in Maryland, final destination California. We hit snag after snag, delay after delay. 5 days in a hotel in Maryland waiting for repairs, 2 days held up in Missouri after a flat tire, a terrifying overnight stay in Oklahoma during a tornado and then trying to rush through Arizona (where we saw you) to beat a snowstorm.
We’ve had to rebook our flights home twice. We’ve fought and cried. It’s been the most stressful road trip of my life. I so desperately just wanted to go home and make this trip end. We still had 3 days ahead of us, not knowing what to expect next.
I was in a horrible frame of mind when we saw you. I was pretty much numb from the brain down. This trip mentally and emotionally exhausted me.
A problem pissing contest?
I sound pathetic pouring all my problems out to you, don’t I? As if you should even give a fuck. I could almost hear you now saying to yourself “Wow bitch, poor you.”
Right? Poor little fucking rich white girl in the RV on holidays having to deal with problem after problem. Poor her.
I think if we were to have a problem pissing contest, surely you’d win.
Here I am, trying to explain myself to you, justify my selfish actions. How absolutely fucking pathetic. I actually wasted some time in my head trying to validate what I did, which was ignore you.
But I couldn’t.
I’m a hypocrite
I tell people to stop and help the homeless. I blog about it all the time. I urge people to please help as much as they can. Buy them a coffee, I say. Get them some lunch. Give them $2 if that’s all you have. Do what you can, I tell them.
Yet I didn’t. I didn’t practice what I preach. I’m a hypocrite and you can’t even imagine how I feel right now. But why should you give a fuck about my feelings, right?
Did I care about yours that day? Obviously not. I’m so sorry. I care now.
I know, too late.
What’s your story?
I’m sorry I didn’t stop and talk to you or try to help you. What’s your story? How did you end up where you are? What happened to you? What demons did you lose against?
Tell me your story. I’m sorry for leaving you and not asking. I want to know now.
But it’s too late. I never gave you a chance. I didn’t even make an attempt. I ignored you and we drove away.
I’m so sorry.
What’s your name? Where’s your family? Do you have any friends? What are your hopes and dreams? There are so many things I want to know about you now.
But I’ll never know your story.
I really don’t have a good excuse
Without a shadow of a doubt, 100%, I do not have a good excuse as to why I didn’t get out to help you. All I have is lame ass fucking excuses, none of them good.
There is no good excuse for not stopping and helping someone in need. Ever. Homelessness and poverty is everyone’s problem. It’s everyone’s business.
The guilt I am dealing with now is my punishment for not helping. I will never forget the fact that I ignored someone’s plea for help.
The girl at the gas station
So, young girl at the gas station with the dog, shivering and crying, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for not getting out of the RV and asking you what you needed. I’m sorry for ignoring you. I’m sorry I turned out to be another person in your life who walked away and didn’t help you.
I’m so sorry this is the life you have now. I’m sorry for many things. My heart hurts for you.
Please forgive me. I promise, I’ll never do that again, to anyone, ever.
Be the change you want to see
Every homeless person has a story. Every one of them has reasons why they are there and why they need money. Ours is not to judge, point fingers or ignore their cries for help.
Ours is to restore faith in humanity. Help the helpless. Be kind. Make a difference in someone’s life. It is our job, as humans, to help each other.
Be the change you want to see.
Peace and Love
xo iva xo