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He Approached The Homeless Man With A Selfish Reason, But Learned Selfless Love From Him In The End

He Approached The Homeless Man With A Selfish Reason, But Learned Selfless Love From Him In The End

What’s the most soul satisfying thing you’ve done in your life so far? This man Adam August shared the experience on Quora of how he approached a homeless man just for the sake of killing time, but end up helping his homeless mate gain a new life in 2 weeks. And most importantly, he learned what selfless love truly means from this unexpected experience. Let’s read the amazing story and see what inspiration you can get from it:

    I’ve seen this guy at Starbucks in Marin City several times. Every time I’d see him I’d tell myself that I would take him to lunch but always found an excuse not to. Today was different. It might have been selfish but I was lonely. I didn’t want to spend the whole day alone. I walked up to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said “ do you want to have lunch with me?”

    Tarec Atkinson was born and raised in Jamaica. When he was a kid, he dreamt of being a famous futbol (soccer) player. He was recruited to play in school but never got the opportunity because of some trouble he got in as a teenager. He moved to the states 8 years ago and has spent the last 12 months living in a tent by the side of the freeway. Tarec goes days without eating, sometimes living off of the berries he picks, he spends 90% of his time alone and has no friends and no family in the states.

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    After hearing it had been a month since he bathed, I brought him back to my apartment so he could enjoy a hot shower. Because of all these hardships, trying to get a job is impossible. How can you fill out an application when you haven’t eaten in days? I told Tarec that I would drive around with him next week and help him fill out applications and even speak on his behalf to help him land a job so he can get back on his feet. We agreed to meet that Friday at 9:30 AM at Starbucks.

    If we were going to make this happen, I knew we had to get Tarec some new clothes. We stopped at Ross so he could pick out a shirt and some slacks. I was blown away at the immediate change in his demeanor. His smile was radiant, he stood up straighter, and even walked with a swagger.

      I couldn’t convince him to tuck in his shirt. I guess you win some and you lose some haha.

      Next step was to hit the streets. We spent the next two days going door to door to see who was hiring. We went to Walgreens, CVS, Safeway, Home Depot, Molly Stones, and Starbucks just to name a few. I would walk in with him so he knew he wasn’t alone. It can be overwhelming to walk into a business and ask for a job. I was very proud of him. We had a few positive responses but the majority of business’s told us that applications were submitted online. Easy enough right?

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      Wrong.

      Tarec doesn’t have a computer. So we went to the local library and began filling out applications. And let me tell you something. We take our computer literacy for granted. Watching him struggle to fill out an application put so much into perspective for me. Some people judge our homeless. We’ve all heard someone say “why don’t they just get a job?” or “they’re lazy”. I saw firsthand how the “system” is set up to fail people like Tarec. There is no way he would have been able to do any of this without my help. Just like there are many things in my life I have needed someone to help me overcome an obstacle. We all need a little help.

        After week of phone interviews Tarec landed an in person interview at Safeway. I remember driving to Safeway being nervous. I looked over to him and asked how he was feeling. He looked back at me and said “I got this”. I believed him.

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        I dropped him off, wished him luck and waited. 20 minutes later, I see him walk out of Safeway with a big smile and a thumbs up. I let out a Rick Flair sounding “WOO!”. We had accomplished a lot together in two weeks. It was an incredible moment.

            Obviously we had to celebrate with a little ice cream! :)

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            Like we all are, Tarec is searching for a purpose in life. He yearns for happiness. He craves for a woman to love and to feel the love from a woman. He wants to create a better life for himself so he could one day have a family and stability. He is just like you and me.

            My hope in sharing this story is that it will inspire others to spread LOVE. We all need help in one way or another. Sometimes all someone needs is a friend. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

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            Ricky Tang

            Editor. Movie Lover. Amateur Singer.

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            Last Updated on February 25, 2020

            5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

            5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

            “Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days. A purpose.” – from the popular show, “Westworld”

            It’s different for us all. My personal quest for purpose began with five stages of grief and one startling realization that everything’s endlessly fragile. Adversity, as it happens by rule, found me terribly unprepared, so I decided to take my time. Today, I can honestly say that I’ve grown.

            Ugliness and beauty, good and evil, pain and laughter – everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary. In the face of difficulty, that is the only mantra you need.

            Here’s how I learned it and why you should too, with five simple rules.

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            1. Embrace the Complexity

            Quite insidiously, adversities come in all shapes and sizes. Paralyzing physical disabilities, mind-wracking mental problems, ruthless emotional havocs, all leading to the same painful acknowledgement: all the beauty in the world cannot possibly make up for the ugliness that surrounds us. Shattered to pieces, helpless and bare naked, we sit in our therapy chairs, apologizing for being so negative.

            Eventually, what it all comes down to is the nature of negative emotion. Our positives overshadow our negatives, thus wrongly teaching us that the road to well-being is paved with nothing but positive feelings and thoughts. How utterly wrong!

            “If you’re not failing every now and then, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative”, Woody Allen said.

            It’s a classic “learn from your mistakes” rule, but in this case, it implies growing from negative experiences. Make peace with your negativities and embrace beauty and ugliness alike! Accepting this marvellously complex world just as it is will allow you to find purpose in adversity and meaning in misery.

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            2. Find Balance, Regain Control

            Still, accepting adversity is only the first step toward eventual victory. One can endure only so much trauma in life; if we’re not prepared to deal with difficulties in a productive way, even the minor setbacks can get us off track. Our strengths come from learning, and the best way to learn is through a series of trials and errors. Just like phases of grief or stages of drug addiction, adversities suggest a disabling loss of control, so find your way to regain it.

            Some call it the coping mechanism; for others, it’s a spiritual will. However you choose to name yours, know that not all supporting systems are equally beneficial, though each is effective in its own way. Escapism was mine, but it only helped me retain the illusion of beauty. It wasn’t until I opened up toward the ugliness and accepted the naked truth that I was finally free. Whether you choose to dwell in art, religion and spiritualism, thus feeding your resilience from within or to reach out to others for help, choose wisely.

            Whatever the means, the second rule is a golden one: find your inner balance and stick to it. Eventually, it will lead you out of the vicious circle.

            3. Fight with Patience

            My bargaining turned in depression with a single touch. Fearless and free, my dance instructor timidly put her hands on my shoulders and I realized, for the first time, just how tense, stiff and cloistered I was. And just like that, I started letting go. Adversities have their sneaky ways, but in my experience, becoming aware is what hurts the worst. It took me a year to recover from this little moment of self-discovery, and I know remember it as the edge of the rabbit hole.

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            Some sufferings are impossible to console; I know that now. The only way to get through is to, well, get through. Depression and despair are only the beginning of the excruciatingly unnerving process that ravages the mind and shrivels the soul, and once they strike, there is no easy way back. So, fight them with patience. When your head starts spinning and your feet lose ground, go to your happy place. Over there, you’ll be reminded that nothing is forever, not even our little existential psychosis.

            Take a deep breath and say “om”. When things cannot be combated, they have to be endured, so practice patience and learn to let go. Finally, keep repeating to yourself that this too shall pass.

            4. Keep Swimming

            Nothing is impossible, in the end. Your negative thoughts will gently pour into your positive ones, just as two streams come together to become a river. In the event of the inevitable disaster, one can only be as calm as still water. Suffering teaches patience, and the latter gives rise to flexibility. Ultimately, what is life than a series of unfortunate events and a handful of bright moments in between? If adversities are impossible to avoid, than learn to glide through as smoothly and patiently as water does with rocks.

            Even if spirituality isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you have to admit that this is one solid metaphor. Staying adaptable in the face of change will soothe your panic attacks and keep you sane and sober-blooded. Even if you fail, you’ll know exactly how to breathe and face what’s in front of you once it eventually strikes again. Stay calm and visualize a better tomorrow; if anything else, it will give you strength to dive deep and weather the storm. And, in case there’s somebody’s hand to reach out to, grab it firmly and don’t let go.

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            Being flexible against adversities takes a lot of learning, just as staying brave demands a lot of courage. It’s a long, arduous step-by-step routine, and you can reach the end only by swimming on. Persist, even when you fall.

            5. Never Stop Searching for Inspiration

            And, if it’s a guidance you need, where else to seek it than in experiences of others? Find it in art, in people around you, in chance encounters. The pure beauty of perseverance can be discovered where you expect it the least, so never stop searching for inspiration. If self-help literature soothes your pains and clears your mind, don’t let cynics discourage you. Your path toward reconciliation is nobody’s but yours to choose.

            Ever heard of Nick Vujicic? Or Nando Parado? Inspiring people sound their yawps over the roofs of the world, sometimes voiceless, sometimes limbless, sometimes both. Born without arms, Jessica Cox became the most unusual certified pilot in the world, and you can rarely see her without a smile on her face. If you’ve already ripped all of your bucket lists and said goodbye to your dreams and plans, meet Sean Swarner, who’s officially became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest. The stories just go on.

            Make your own guidebook! Pen down your positive thoughts, cover your walls with quotes and devise your personal mantras. Whenever things get hard, they’ll be there to remind you of what you need to do. It’s the simplest of all life hacks, and one of the most effective ones.

            Find beauty in the world, but never stay blind for its ugliness. However daunting, adversities and emotional pain challenge our inner strength, thus making us resilient and allowing us to grow. As soon as you recognize them as the wind in your sails instead of the devastating storm, the purpose will become simple and clear.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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