I’m writing this as a “Text” entry—my first ever—because it’s one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had on the road. It may seem small to some, but to me it was impact full. I hope to illustrate that here in writing.
I returned to my hotel to meet a young, skittish and uncertain 19 year-old Derek. Unlike most homeless beggars he was honest and ambitious. I met him in Seattle three days before he was to depart on an Alaskan fishing tour, and 9 dollars short of the youth hostel room fee he needed until pushing off to sea. He was obviously stressed.
I was curious. I have never met such a story, such a visibly and charmingly humble person. It was obvious he was new to this—it took him several minutes to ask for money though it was obvious he would. I could tell he was embarrassed and if it weren’t for my inquisitive nature at the time, I don’t think he would have shared so much. But I was interested. And he was honest.
I’m not going to spill his life’s story here. But suffice it to say, comparatively I’ve had it easy. I gave him every dollar I had in my wallet that night and it was the best thing I’ve done in awhile. I could tell all he needed was for someone to take a little interest and to hear someone say “Hey man, things will work out for you.”
I know they will.