Thursday, March 28, 2013

Homeless man NOT so Homeless

Jeffrey Hillman, 2012 (© Robert Caplin/The New York Times/Redux)

Barefoot homeless guy apparently has apartment, 30 pairs of shoes

1 hr ago
Jeffrey Hillman, better known as "the guy in that viral photo that a cop gave all those shoes and socks to," was recently profiled by the New York Post counting a stack of bills on the way back from "work" in Times Square. The Rev. John Graf, who says he pays Hillman's utility bills, admits that Hillman has 30 pairs of shoes in his Bronx apartment and has been "working the streets … for years," reportedly making up to $1,000 a day. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly offers the most levelheaded take on this news: "That's life in New York. ... But it was a generous act of kindness." He's right: Let's focus on the good in people, not the bad.

I read the above article and was immediately pissed at the fact that this so called homeless man is not homeless.  He has an apartment in NYC?  I'm sorry, but as a homeless man sleeping in a storage unit, where does he get off duping people?  But he's not alone!  Even here in Austin, TX, there are a lot of people who take advantage of the kindness of strangers to bring in a few hundred dollars a day, and maintain a place to live.

Thus the question is: Why should I be pissed at someone who is working the system for their benefit? 

The answer is not easy to explain.  I guess I am tired of the people who scam the system to make money.  I get that we are a culture now of easy money, hell we have been that way since the 80's at least.  Work as little as possible and make as much as possible at the same time.  We see this in so many ways; politicians, movie stars, athletes, reality TV stars, etc. 

I tend to believe that if you work hard, you will succeed.  But, I have to be honest, it's getting harder to believe that's true.  Is it?

I would love comments on this.  Is working hard and being rewarded fairly a thing of the past?

Life goes on...I go on?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Yen/Yang of Life

Things are slowly improving in my life and I very happy with what is happening.  I have bought an SUV, it’s older and not great on gas, but it’s something that I can work with on payments, ins., etc.  Thus, it’s mine and it adds hours to my day, and more fun to my life…lol

Now with that being said, I have experienced the third break in to the storage unit property in four months.  The break-in’s in of them self are not bad, they don’t get to my unit, which is always good.  But the fact that I am the one calling 911 is a bit nerve racking.  Sooner or later, the property management is going to finally click that I am living there, and they will have to through me out.  While things are improving, the money is increasing, and the opportunity to move into a better housing situation is getting closer, I’m just not there yet.  Thus, I can’t afford to loose what I have at the moment.

Recently, I had a discussion with a spiritual teacher that indicated that they would always want to life in joy and happiness, more then fear and anger, which on the outset is great.  But in the discussion, I was saying that I just wanted to live in balance.  Thus, not giving too much energy to one or the other, but to acknowledge each of them for what they were and to just be.

This concept I was discussing is based on my small amount of knowledge of Buddhism, living a life of balance.  Now, while I deal with the break-in, which can be negative, I also deal with getting a vehicle, which can be positive.  So it’s the yen/yang of our world…good and negative always finding a balance between the two of them.  That’s where I want to be.  Not going up and down on a rollercoaster, but feeling the middle road of life.  Being at peace as each item comes along and I deal with it as needed, but not giving into the high or lows…the rollercoaster of life.

Is that wrong?

Life goes on…I go on