Saturday, July 6, 2013

Give Love.

Why am I in Gainesville?  Every time I feel like I'm done with place something happens to remind me it's not so bad here, after all. I was planning on not writing this week, given that it is a national holiday that this year fell on a Thursday. Still, what happened two days ago gave me a good feeling and I felt inspired again. As I rolling pass a pub across the street from my home, ready to begin my night I saw two of the visiting actors sitting by the tables outside. They were having drinks with a someone I didn't know while a well known homeless man, very visible in the downtown area was helping to clean the tables.  He calls himself a prophet, he claims to know the Bible although according to him- he never read it. He says he makes wind blow in the trees and when he cries it rains. He's very opinionated and often quite loud. He calls himself Eugene and everybody knows who he is. He says he once wrote a piece for a local newspaper, "Meet your neigbors, the homeless" and once he was a mayor of Tin City. I always try to engage him when he says hi, because through it all I think he's a positive person. We are all neighbors of sorts and everyone deserves respect. I don't mock him, although I do talk to him as if I believed everything he says was true. He was also quite homophobic. "Gays are not one of God's special people"- he told my lesbian friends once. Still, I don't need to agree with you, for me to respect the human aspect to your being and I try to treat people with kindness regardless of how misguided I think they may be.  As I was going by I said hi to him, the actors and their friend. I mentioned they were in theater and the four man started talking. But I didn't stay. At the strike of two the bars were closing. On my way back I bumped into Eugene again as he was helping to close a local pub. He asked me if I could lend him some change because his rent was due. When I asked him how his night was, he told me that he saw something beautiful. Out of three man sitting at the table one promptly left. He then overheard one of the other two confessing love or attraction right there and then. I wasn't sure which two it was and I  didn't care, or who was talking and who was listening. Eugene explained that they also said something along the lines of "I have liked you ever since I saw you for the first time" and he felt very inspired. "I thought you believed that 'Gays are not God's special people'"- I asked. "Love is love"- he said going on about how it had moved him. "I think that there's not enough love in the world"- I said. I'm glad he had this eye opening experience. And it got me to think. Is that all it takes? To see something moving and true and human to change somebody's mind? Can we change? Change what we feel about others and how see the world?  Is it as simple as just letting someone stepping into somebody else's world? Could it be that it's never too late to change somebody's mind, erase first impressions, see each other as human beings, undo prejudice. I gave him some change and I went home that night with a new hope for the human condition.

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