no one can convince you that their product is the best if they don't let you know why it's the best, and the same can be said when 'casting a vision'.
i realized that letting people know that i was running an 'operation hydration' by means of a facebook status wasn't working about two statuses in. sure, it got a few likes, made people aware of what i was doing, and encouraged people to donate [which encouraged me more than anything], but i have done way more water runs alone than i have with anyone else.
that being said, i've decided to take a different approach, because, well, sometimes trying harder doesn't work, but trying different does.
the day after i had a planning session in a local coffee shop with my buddy justin, a friend of mine, who just happens to be a very talented and professional web developer, offered to create a website for me. seconds later, we bought a soon to be released domain, and have been working on creating a sick website ever since. [stay tuned].
on top of this, i have been pounding out blog ideas; ideas that will let you in on the why i have decided to dedicate my life to such things like operation hydration, and why i feel it's my personal mission to 1) break down the stigma attached to homelessness, and 2) let you, the reader, know how simple it is to make a difference in the world around you.
in the meantime, i will continue to run operation hydrations and let you know about them through various social media outlets,and this week, i will be giving a handful of people a 'high-five' [a $5 bill] instead of water as i feel it impressed on my heart to do so like i did in the story you're about to read below. here, you will find a journal entry that i wrote a few years a go after a friendly encounter with one of edmonton's homeless.
i sat on the cold ground with leonard today because i'm not too good to sit on the ground. it was cold, i'll admit. freezing actually. but somewhere in the back of my mind i remembered that i had somewhere warm to go when our conversation ended. he didn't; the sidewalk was home.
our relationship started when he asked me for some spare change. at the time i only had my debit card, and limited money on it, so i kindly turned him down. a few minutes later though, i felt "led" to give him some of the money i received as cash back at the bargain barn.
that's when i sat down beside him. the $5 bill was the "ticket" into his life sorta speak.
"i'm paula" i said as i put out my hand.
"leonard", he replied. "but my friends call me leo"
"leo it is," i thought.
i began to ask him questions about his life. in the short period of time i had between classes i learned about his love for golf and how much of an inspiration tiger woods has been to him. i learned that most of his friends are in jail and that he should be too. i learned that he's an eskimo as he proudly told me, and that because of this he's used to the cold and doesn't wear gloves. when he is cold, however, nothing warms him up like a hot tea, he said.
i sat back and listened to him tell me story after story. though each one was different, they all started the same: "OH! you gotta hear this one...!"
i didn't say much in response. i just sat there, smiled, and listened.
sometimes 'making a difference' can be as simple as sitting on the cold pavement listening to someone share about their life.