What is the one thing you have given up on changing within yourself? Really identify the one thing that just hasn’t seemed to be “changeable”…. And make a commitment to change it. It may be one of the biggest struggles you endure, and it may result in some of the most pitiful failures mounted within yourself. But once you find the way to change what you, yourself, though couldn’t be changed, about yourself… then you have proven that change CAN happen, if you really want it to.
Some of us, I included, have come upon things in our own lives that we have neglected to tend to. Some things that need change are easier left to be, than they are to shake things up. I bring this up because ignoring small things, can easily lead down a slippery slope to the point of inability to affect things that absolutely need change… such as “bad” habits, learned behaviors – and addictions.
This all came to mind when I was on the train today, 25 June 2012, and I saw the same man, for a second time, pitching the same plea for food and money. He pleads to the mercy and good nature of those on the subway to believe that he is in a place that is of no fault of his own, and that he only needs help for the moment. I was annoyed the first time I saw him a few weeks ago. But today, I was angered.
I am not an expert, but I have seen my fair share of life… this man is not just homeless by random acts of economy. He is homeless because his drug addiction, I’m near certain is meth, has become his priority in life. His own health, life, or the lives of those who love him, care about him, do know him now or have loved him, mean nothing in comparison to his next high. He has lost the ability to change the “unchangeable”. Yet, he still pleads to the mercy and good nature of random strangers to help him… even though he isn’t capable of taking the most important steps to help himself.
I’ll be honest, at this point… I have complete disregard for someone like him to find help for the sake of his own self. But I do have sympathy for those that care about him. I care to see him find help, not as much to stop his own pain, but to stop the pain of those that have lost him. Because let’s be honest, to his family, and friends… he is all but gone.
This strikes a personal cord with me. And mentioning it may not excite members of my family. My own father has been diagnosed with paranoid-schizophrenia. But I have good reason to believe, his rapid and sharp decline in health, starting about 16 years ago was a product of drug use. I am old enough to remember how amazing he was, how much he meant to me, and how I will always compare my abilities as a father to his… or at least what I remember from the age of 6 (which was the last time I ever lived with him). I saw him again when I was 9, for a weekend visit. Then didn’t see him again until I was 14 for Thanksgiving… by then he wasn’t the same person, and was on medication for the schizophrenia.
I have not seen him in the 14 years since, during which time I’ve only had a handful of phone calls. He doesn’t believe I am actually alive. He has never met his grand-children. He doesn’t know that the sacrifices he made, have made such a life-long impact on me, for the better… all instilled by the time I was 6. He doesn’t know how many times I have needed him or how many times I will hope to be as good of a father as I remember him to be. And now I have no way of ensuring he knows it.
The lifestyle lived and choices my father made 20-25 years ago, were never lived or made with the intent of today’s outcome. My father never knew he was on nor intended on traveling a slippery slope to land himself in the place he is now… nor did the man on the train that needs help from others that he can’t get for himself.
In 25 years, how do you want your impact remembered? …because – Today counts.