Happy Thanksgiving From John the Hobo
People throw around words like grateful and humble at Thanksgiving time. Both very good things to be.
But also, we can use them as weapons when we go to war with the ones we love. So a lot of times we pretend a false grateful, and a false humble so others will think highly of us. Like when you are opening your fourth set of socks at Christmas. Or grandma shoots you that, “you should be grateful,” look when you are trying to balk at the yams.
Ironically Humble, Texas was the first town I stopped to take a breathe in after hitching out of the Florida, Keys and across the South. Why Humble?
Well the person who drove me out of Louisiana and into Texas didn’t drop me off at the freeway exit. For some reason I ended up in this sort of suburban strip mall area not far outside of Houston. I had no idea how to get back to the highway and it was urban enough so that people there had encountered the homeless before. They politely and completely ignored me like they were supposed to do. Instead of gawking at me like the freak of nature I was as they tended to do in the small towns along the freeway.
It is time to talk about pride, you know the opposite of humble. That is what I was full of.
I had a college education and was embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I thought I should be working, like the all American boy I thought I was.
So most every kindness someone tried to pay me with some food or a little cash, I pretended I did not want it, then I would take it, then hate myself for taking it.
I rarely took anything over a ten and actually thought people offering me more were the devil trying to get me to guilt myself to death.
I remember being hungry in Humble and hanging around outside this grocery store. I was far too proud to ask people for things but was an expert at looking forlorn until somebody gave me a five or some food. After a while, sure enough, someone gave me some cash. I ran in and grabbed an 8 piece chicken sat down on the curb and started going to town. But then the guilt’s started attacking me.
“You ass, you don’t deserve that money or that chicken, you didn’t work for it.” When I get after myself like that, I don’t mess around; I was eventually standing there screaming at myself, telling myself what a fu*k up I was. This did turn a few head although no one said anything to me.
The truth of the matter is most of my food while living on the streets came from dumpster’s. I stuck mostly with the chicken, pizza, and doughnut places. I was well over 300 lbs. and had a pretty good case of type 2 diabetes. It would be a few more years before I had the humility to actually ask for and accept gifts from folks without guilt or shame.
I used to do all my dumpster diving at night, so as not be seen and feel ashamed, but one day I had a break through. I thought, “Wait a minute I am basing my actions not on what people think of me(which is bad enough in its self) but on what I think they think of me. So after that my life got a little easier, I would just go through dumpsters whenever I was hungry, both day and night. I thought that was good progress.
It was six years into my ordeal before I started going to food banks, that is how prideful I was. It also took that long for me to get my anxiety low enough to go into a place like that without everyone thinking I was crazy.
At any rate my lunch bag from the church came with a can of peas, and I thought I do not remember the last time I had a vegetable.
Well once those peas hit my mouth I was crying like a baby, nothing had ever tasted quite so good and quite so sweet. I was beginning to understand that God, despite how low I thought of myself, actually thought highly of me and wanted me to have good things. He feels the same way about you, I can guarantee it. I do too folks, Happy Thanksgiving, I love you with everything that I have.
Hobo Metaphysic of the day: If you are comparing yourself to others to see how you are doing, you are not doing well.
John wants you to know: “I’m not for the government doing more to help these folks.
Their help tends to come with a lot of humiliation, stipulations, and rules, but I am for us finding our hearts again as a people and taking care of our own.”
Read more at https://joeforamerica.com/2014/11/true-hobo/