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You Can’t Be Happy Without Kindness


Not sure who I am anymore, if anyone at all. Went through my change jar and walked down to A and B for a pack of Winston’s. On the way out the door I thought, “I want to show people you can be happy without money.”

I have fantasies about hitching across America, listening to people’s stories, dumpster diving, writing on library computers, hiking trails,…you know, the good life. But my dog Totes, he likes the easy life. A warm place to sleep, consistent food, a full disc player, the paper in the morning, a bath now and again.


Once you get that you can’t hide anything from God, it makes things difficult and comforting at the same time. We all have things we believe should remain hidden. I have hated people, held grudges for years, been aloof with the truth, intentionally tried to hurt people, wanted people I know to die, avoided responsibility, and been a mamby-pamby.

The comforting part is God sees all that, knows all that and doesn’t give a shit; he loves us anyway. I use he in reference to God, but I want to point out God is beyond what we call gender and in other traditions is referred to as mother.

I love homeless people so much. I don’t know how many times in Portland a hobo nurtured me when things were not going my way. Some of my best friends in town are out at the ROC. Sometimes I wish the rest of the world would go away – silly structures, absurd hierarchies, power, control, and status. Why do we think that is the good stuff; the stuff we need to pursue?

But being in society again has taught me one thing. There is a hobo in every human heart. It is kind of ironic, hobos are not seen as human by most, because of outside appearances. But I often fail to see people who have money as human, because of appearances.

We hide things from ourselves as well, our dreams for one thing. God sees those and they may be the most scary thing to approach, because they may set us apart from our support structures like families, friends, and coworkers.


I feel like I have been around for a lifetime or two and am losing the urge to prove myself at anything. There are a couple of Bible verses that comfort me when I get fed up with society. “A man’s pursuit is his kindness” from Proverbs and “God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” from Luke.

Kindness is to let your heart see the suffering of others. Because once the heart sees a wound or something suffering, it responds with kindness. This may sound strange, and I might as well call it a Hobo Metaphysic, but I believe you can be happy without happiness, but you can’t be happy without kindness.


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About Author

Hobo John

Hobo John here, I am a fifty year old man currently living in a small town in Idaho, this is also where I grew up. Like any Idaho boy I love the outdoors, and am a sports enthusiast. But I also love the arts and paint a little myself. In Proverbs it says, "A man's pursuit is his kindness, " and that is my only true mission in life. I like to write about just about anything; songs , children's stories, politics, short stories, however, I have not attempted a novel yet. I also consider myself a bit of a philosopher, after seven years of living the homeless life I actually started to enjoy it. I started writing little phrases that I hope contain some wisdom. I call them Hobo Metaphysics. "Gentle beats the shit out of aggressive," being one of my favorites. Peace to you folks, "I love you with everything that I have." That is my motto and the truth of things.

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