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I walk through this beautiful park in my neighborhood everyday on my way to the gym.  It’s set in suburbia land amongst grand victorian homes and new custom homes that range from $500,000-$800,000. The town is a little gem in the Inland Empire of Southern California, populated by some of the highly esteemed Doctors, Lawyers, and Entrepreneurs in the region.  It is very unusual to find a vagrant roaming the streets.  I grew up in this quaint town, and although my family certainly wasn’t anywhere near the upper echelon, I did attend high school with kids who drove raised trucks, supped up Camaros and sporty BMWs…

As I walked through this exceptionally manicured park I noticed a BMW SUV in the parking lot, jam packed full of boxes and luggage.  Initially I didn’t think much of it.  The first thought that crossed my mind was that these people were on a camping trip.  I didn’t consider any other explanation, even though the park does not have any sort of camp site area, I mean come on…It’s a BMW!

A week later I saw the same SUV in the parking lot.  I walked slowly past (unseen by the occupants, at a bit of a distance) and really investigated what was going on just because I was perplexed.  A young family emerged from the very tightly packed car.  A father got out and grabbed a stroller and then went to the backseat to grab his little one out of the car.  The mother opened up the back hatch and started pulling boxes out in search of something.  It then dawned on me this wasn’t a family going on a family camping trip, nor were they just moving into town, being that their car was in the same condition a week later.

It suddenly struck me that none of us are immune to the prospect of falling to such a horrible fate.  It has been said that most all Americans are one illness away from bankruptcy.  I may have misinterpreted the situation but it made me think about thinking twice the next time I see a homeless person or the next time I am asked for money.  I am going to make a point to give whenever I am asked because many of us aimlessly blow $5 here $10 there and to a person down on their luck that $10 means the world to them.  It means no longer worrying about how to get that next meal, and my problems aren’t nearly that bad.

I feel we really need to make a shift in our awareness and recognize how important it is to look after our fellow man.  Not every homeless person is a junky, clouded by a lifetime of bad decisions and if this family is in fact homeless, living in a BMW, they are a testament that sometimes bad things happen to people who at one point had the ambition to at least be in the position to purchase a BMW.  Just another reason why we need to work on building that healthy village together!  Let’s stand up for each other!  Let’s brainstorm together on how to fight this growing epidemic of extensive unemployment, homelessness and disconnect form community!  This is my “call to action” because there are far too many beautiful minds out there, wasting away worrying about where they are going to sleep and how they are going to get there next meal.

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