Here is the story that changed my life!
March 25th 2016 ...
This morning I wandered into some of the deepest, darkest and most poverty stricken areas of Chiang Mai, Thailand. I wasn't afraid of the people ... The dogs on the other hand, hell yes! Luckily I grabbed some sausages from breakfast and it saved me from getting attacked several times. These people had nothing, yet they were all nice, filled with love and they ALL had smiles on their faces. A little boy offered me water and a sweet little old lady gave me a bunch of flowers that I in turn gave to a little girl sitting on a street corner collecting cans out of a rubbish bin. I didn't think it was appropriate to take photos of this area as I did not want to offend the locals living there, but I did get this cute picture of the little girl clutching onto these flowers like it was the most important thing she had ever held in her hands. I have never experienced such an emotional overload in all my life, it took everything I had to keep the tears from pouring down my face. People with so little being so nice and friendly and offering what little they had to a complete stranger and asking for nothing in return. Today has forever changed my life.
March 26th 2016 ...
Today is the first day of the rest of my life … today I am a human being. I was literally up all night tossing and turning, my mind racing like a Formula 1 Race Car. I couldn’t stop thinking about all those less fortunate men, women and children I met yesterday and how friendly and kind they were to me. I mostly had an overwhelming feeling of guilt, frustration and a lot of sadness that I just couldn’t shake. Why didn’t I do something to help them? What kind of selfish asshole am I to have just walked away and not do anything to help these people? Why didn’t I empty my wallet and give all my money to them right then and there? The biggest question I had was why wasn’t anyone doing anything to help these wonderful human beings? I was done with breakfast by 8am this morning after farting around online and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I received a nice comment on yesterdays post from an old and dear family friend … my “second sister” Tracey, and it triggered something I remembered my amazing sister Carol doing for a homeless man about a year ago in Chicago and WHAM … I knew what I had to do. I ran to the market shop down the street and asked for the manager, but he wasn’t in. I begged and pleaded to the girl working there to call him so I could talk to him and explain to him what I wanted to do. I don’t speak Thai so it was a monumental undertaking and they all thought I was bat-sh*t crazy. A cop even showed up to make sure I wasn’t a crazy person on the loose or some kind of lunatic whacked out on drugs. 30 minutes later the manager showed up with a pick-up truck, kicked out the remaining customers and locked the doors. I then proceeded to purchase just about every single item they had on the shelves, literally filling up the entire back of his pick-up truck. The manager was more than happy driving me to the areas I visited yesterday to distribute all the food, water, personal hygiene shit, books, pencils, pens, crayons, diapers, shirts, shorts and other items I purchased. When I first arrived, I looked high and low but I couldn’t find that sweet little girl I gave the flowers to. I was heart broken that I couldn’t find her and no one had seen her or recognized the photo of her, but I did see the rest of the people I met yesterday and it was probably the single best moment of my entire life to see these people so happy and so surprised to see me again and this truck filled with things for them. It turned into a huge love fest with smiles and laughter and crying and hugs and more crying … love, happiness and joyful emotions filled the air. Even the dogs remembered me and didn’t bark once. I got a growl or 2 but again I had my sausages from breakfast and all was well in the animal kingdom. The children were so happy when all the candy, books, crayons, stickers, pens & pencils and clothes came out for them. I am still crying and shaking just thinking about it … such simple things we all take for granted meant the entire world to these children. After seeing all the smiles turn to tears of joy, I lost it … I lost it bad. I literally fell to my knees, I was crippled with emotion and couldn’t stop crying. One of the little boys walked up to me and gave me a book he had received, then patted me on the shoulder and said “here, this for you” he then smiled and hugged me. That moment will stay with me until the day I die. Before leaving I saw the little old lady who gave me the flowers and I met her family to say good bye and she motioned to me to take a picture of them so I would remember them. She had over 10 family members, all living in that tiny little shack together. I didn’t need any photos to remember, but I took one anyways with my trusty iPhone 4. This is something I will never forget. This is why I came to Thailand, this was my reason for being here. It wasn’t about earning my PADI Staff Instructor certification, it wasn’t about traveling around the country and it wasn’t about diving on the live aboards … it was about this one single moment in time where I made a difference in someone else’s life. I didn’t do this for god. I didn’t do this for Jesus. I didn’t do this for myself. I did it because it needed to be done and no one else was doing a damn thing about it. These wonderful people can re-sell it, use it, eat it … do what ever they want with it. It might help them for a few days, weeks or even a month … at least it will help. I just wish I could have done more for them. If there was a pawn shop here I could have sold my camera, my scuba gear or my iPad … anything else to get more money to help these people. I just hope what I did changed someone’s life for the better. Maybe now I will get some sleep tonight knowing I did everything I could to help these amazing people. Hopefully this will inspire someone else somewhere to do the same kind of random act of kindness and it spreads. Screw “pay it forward” … when you see something that no one is doing anything about … take it upon yourself to do the right thing because it needs to be done. I think it’s about time we all start acting like human beings and stop being so self centered and selfish turning a blind eye because it will interfere with our Starbucks Coffee break or our shopping at the mall schedule or other bullshit needless spending and consuming. What kind of example are we setting for today’s children? This pathetic cycle of over consumption and excessive spending must end or all hope for humanity will be lost. Do you really need to live in a million dollar house? Do you really need a $100,000.00 car? Do you really need to have the brand new iPhone every time a new one comes out? Do you really need all that jewelry? Do you really need a flat screen T.V in every room of the house? Do you really need over 50 pairs of shoes? Do you really need to always eat out at expensive restaurants? Do you really need to go to Starbucks every day? Do you really need all those clothes? The answer is NO! We fill our lives with consumption emptiness looking for consumer fulfillment and it never fills that void. If and when you experience something like this ... like I did, that void is gone and replaced by the most powerful emotion you can and will ever experience. Men, women and children shouldn’t have to live in poverty, there shouldn't be poverty in today's society … there is no excuse for it! We as a society are ALL to blame for poverty because we are to self centered and selfish to feed our own needs over the needs of those in real desperation and if you think our world governments are going to fix these problems … you’re flat out wrong. Our world governments don’t give a darn about any of us. It’s time we all become human beings again… together in unity as one, for one another.
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