The other day I drove past a homeless guy sitting in the shade to escape the heat of the day. As I passed, he aggressively flipped me off with pain in his eyes and yelled, “Rich f***n’ prick!” because he saw me driving a Jaguar. I hadn’t done anything to make him hate me except drive by in a nice car. He likely thinks that successful people were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Did he hate me because he assumed I was “dealt better cards in life” than he received?
I don’t know this guy, but he may have grown up in a bad situation. He may not know any successful people or have many positive influences in his life. He may not understand that life is what you decide to make of it. I wanted to connect with this guy and give him a bit of encouragement. Maybe I could tell him about the man I spoke with a few years earlier who had lost everything but started his own multi-million dollar company after living on the street. This other guy went from homeless to driving a twin-turbo Ferrari by deciding to create a better future.
Would it help this homeless man to share my story? I had lived in the back of my phone store for years, surviving malignant brain cancer and diabetes. I had to drive to the gym each morning because I didn’t have a shower in the back of the store. Although I didn’t know his exact situation, I’ve been down and out before, so I could sympathize. I decided to approach him.
There’s Always An Opportunity To Improve Your Situation
Would it help to share how I’d been fired from numerous jobs for having seizures at work? Should I tell him there’s hope for a better tomorrow if he buckles down and takes responsibility for his future? I’d love to share what my mom always says:
“Work like it’s up to you and pray like it’s up to God.”
Maybe I could give him a little hope by sharing my personal experience. What would you tell this poor guy?
Don’t Miss Your Opportunity
As I thought about how to help give this guy a little hope, I realized that just dropping a bag of food wouldn’t create any lasting connection. I thought if he’d let me sit down and listen to his story, I may be able to gain some insight into what made him hate “the rich prick” in the Jaguar. If we could connect as brothers, then maybe I could influence the path I’m on now. Perhaps I could help him decide to change his attitude and improve his own life.
I went home and came back with an Orange Creamsicle®, a bottle of cold water, and a V8® sparkling energy drink. When I pulled up, he was already yelling at someone else in a beautiful white Mercedes. He was actively trying to start a fight, so I thought this might not be the best idea that afternoon. His negative attitude made me apprehensive about reaching out to help him. The plan was to help someone improve their life, not get into a physical altercation! I opted to drive on by and ate the Popsicle® myself.
That was a reminder to me that often, we are where we’re at in life because of our choices. Our decisions, our outlook on life, and our attitude play a massive role in where we end up. If you’re currently struggling in life, keep a positive outlook, and improve your situation. Don’t miss your opportunity because of your negativity. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude regardless of your starting point. The cards you’re dealt in life don’t determine whether you’ll win the game or not!