I’m not sure what I want to write. There are so many things running through my head. They range from inspirational to raunchy. Maybe I should just write something that inspires you to be raunchy. Whatever this turns out to be, I’m going to just write.

Something in me believes that I can change the world. Not the whole world, but my world and the world around me. There are days when I see this world we live in as evil and hopeless. But my immediate world is beautiful. The people I know and associate myself with happen to enrich my life and motivate me. I aspire to do the same. To be as valuable to others as these treasures are to me.

Yes, people are treasures. Some manage to glisten and shine brightly and are easy to see while others must scrape off the muck and sludge that life has piled on them.

Either way, everyone has value. Even if one’s life is not

so admirable and serves as a cautionary tale, it has value. This reminds me of a woman named Shorty.

About sixteen years ago i lived in a homeless shelter with my five children.

They had a room for clients called The Drop In Center. It was next to the library which held a bunch of books that the kids couldn’t read because there was no one monitor it. The drop in center was where clients could go to look and make calls for apartments. It was run by a client and when you went there it was mostly the same clients gossiping and smoking cigarettes.  When the client who ran the center moved out of the facility I asked if I could have a shot at it. The director gave me an enthusiastic”yes”.

Aside from posting for housing and jobs I offered homework help and reading for the kids. It became a family place. I also had my incense and oil hustle going on. The weed smokers loved the strawberry and cherry incense. One of the women that used to come in was named Shorty. She was about five feet tall, brown skin and she was there with four children and  a grandchild. Shorty was clearly a drug user and I don’t mean weed. She was  a nice lady with a little slick that lay just beneath the surface. A slick that may have gone unnoticed had I not been exposed to this kind of slick in my personal life.

Shorty would sometimes come sit and talk with me. Truth be told, although I lived in the same shelter, received public assistance, food stamps and Medicaid just like the other clients in that shelter, something in me thought I was better. Shorty was not a person I would find myself in an extended conversation with, but, it happened. Several times she dropped into the drop in center and we chatted it up. The more we talked about life and family the more I relaxed and the more I realized…people are just people. Underneath it all, we’re all just people.

I don’t remember anything specific that came out of
my conversations with Shorty, but I remember the lesson I took away. I learned how to level people. No one is above me or beneath me. Whether you are my boss who was a captain in the Army Reserves or someone who finds some comfort in the use of substances…it could be me. Therefore, it is me. You are me and I am you. I going to treat you the way I wish to be treated.

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