September 13, 2014 by Rupesh
It was 6 pm and I was done with my work. I love walking in New York, every bit of it especially during summers. I love New York and the way she celebrate diversity in every possible aspect. I see that fashionista in her high heels, the swag in that I-banker and a couple sneak a kiss before they part ways. I got my fav machiatto, light up my nicotine, all set for my walk and then my eyes saw this beggar holding the board saying “I am homeless, I sleep in the park. Please Help Me. God Bless You”
Not an unusual sight in NY, but then something bothered me. I got a tall Americano and offered him. He waived and smiled. “Thank you Sir. You are very generous”. I noticed his space was cleanly maintained and tidy. I put some bucks in his mug and sat besides him. He looked at me and I smiled back. “Can I ask you a question if you don’t mind”. He nodded. “You dont look like a guy who was born poor. And You seem to be Educated enough. What went wrong?”
“There are 2 answers. One which i tell everyone, and one which is true. Which one do you want to hear?”
“Well the first one, which I always tell people ‘I choose to live like this and I have given up on worldly affairs’ and truth is ‘its a state of mind’.. “
What he said blew my mind away.
He continued “I was an associate to a young banker in wall street. During the recession I was left jobless. My wife divorced me and my parents never bothered as they were struggling with their own chores. I tried and failed. Nothing went right for me and everything that could go wrong went wrong. I registered with employment agency and got some grant. I used to get coupons but then I just gave up trying and begged. I easily get 25-30 dollars on a regular day and sometimes 100 dollars on a good. Enough for my food and dope. I didn’t try again. It’s just the state of mind”
I told him to take care of himself and said goodbye.
I continued my walk and settled for a coffee in central park. Wow, state of mind. How can ego loose control on ID and hit this path ? Why did he choose to live like this. Why not suicide? Why not Sudden death vs Slow death. What i realised was simple – The fine line between sustenance and disruption. I mean if he would have just stuck around, he could got a job in a year or two at least paying him 30-40k $ and then build a life which would be little more gratifying than the current setup. I believed he just bottled up himself so much that nothing seemed exciting. It happens when instant gratification is everything.
All my life I believed that it is critical to make mistakes, its ok to lose everything but to start again. I have failed every time and like everyone I get frustrated too. But then I realised this one simple thing – We All Face Problems. But Problems Have A Common Pattern. A ‘Big’ Problem Of The Past Seems To Be Ordinary In The Present.
When you are at your rock bottom, do anything but just don’t get into a state of limbo. Sometimes Losing Everything Can Give You Even More
Take Care – Rupesh