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homeless man


Now featuring Listen-As-You-Read!
[audio:http://www.ponderplace.com/audio/2008.01.09-homeless-people-have-jobs-to(32kbps).mp3]


How many of you have been going about your daily routine, and happened to see that random homeless person going about their way?

I can tell you I have, and let me just say this, I’ve never thought too deeply about the life of a homeless person.

In the past I’ve seen the homeless in their natural habitat. Which would be not at home; or wait, by nature would their being out in the streets qualify as home? I mean, think about it, if a person is homeless, than technically nowhere is home for them; which means they are always home!

Okay, I like the logic, but I’m not sure that’s how it works.

In the past I’ve seen, what I perceive to be, a homeless person at an intersection, or at the side of a building. They will have their wares; a sign with a plea for money, or a sign that’s funny (there are different genre’s to homelessness). I see them, and I take in the haggard look on their face. They usually are not smiling; their clothes are old and torn. Generally speaking you can look at a homeless person, and take from it a scene of unhappiness. This is not to say they are not happy, I cannot say one way or the other, but the projected image is one of unhappiness.

What I’ve come to realize is that homeless people are people to!

That statement may sound a bit odd at first, but let me explain. To me a homeless person is someone who sits at an intersection, most likely a series of intersections, and begs for spare change or food. Being that I’ve never really thought deeply on the subject, that person (in my mind) then goes to their bridge, or their alley and sleeps for the night.

Are you ready? This is really what I’ve come to realize.

Being homeless is a job too. I don’t know if I’d look at it as a career per se. Being that there are few promotions or pay increases. A true promotion would seem to be that of obtaining a job or a place of residence; effectively removing that person’s title of “homeless”.

Let’s just call this a job then. I’m brought to this conclusion in part due to an experience, or a series of experiences, I have had in the last few months.

I’ve taken up exercising, I’m young, and so I feel I can take that risk. Part of my exercise regimen is a walk around a nearby city block (yeah, I don’t run, what of it!?). In these walks I frequently find myself crossing general paths with a couple who appear to be homeless. They have a shopping cart with what I presume to be their belongings. Each time I see them and most recently when I saw them while driving to work, they would be gathering various items from the ground and trash bins that they pass by.

I didn’t pay much attention to this the first few times. However, with the most recent witness of their activities, it dawned on me that they were on the job. From the brief glimpses I have had of their lives, it appears to me that their day involves some sort of route, along which they gather cans, and other items of value. This is likely their bread and butter; but it makes me wonder. They appear to be able to keep a schedule, because each time I’ve seen them; it has been roughly around the same time of early morning. They also seem quite capable of performing tasks, in this case, gathering items of value.

So why is it that they are not able to have a job?

This may be a brash assumption on my part. Maybe they are perfectly happy the way they are. Perhaps living this way provides them with a sense of freedom from the clutches of the social world. They might look at their current lifestyle as being above that lifestyle I or other members of society lead.

It’s likely they have a secret that I don’t know about. Maybe I would want to be homeless if I knew this secret.

We may never know (however if this site suddenly disappears and you see me walking along the road in tattered clothes and mumbling to myself (not to say homeless people mumble to themselves, but I’m pretty sure I would if I were homeless) than you can just assume that I’ve discovered their secret)

Title image used with permission and courtesy of Brandon, check out the original here.

Read it in the bathroom! Print It! Read it in the bathroom! Print It!

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