I talked with a friend the other day. Nothing deep. Nothing dramatic. He moved into a new place about two weeks ago. I asked him how he was liking it. He got a huge smile on his face and told me he liked it because he gets to take a shower every day.
Wait–what? Yeah, I know I didn’t tell you he was living on the streets of down town Santa Ana first. I have been trying to wrap my mind around this idea that somehow that doesn’t have to be how I identify people.
He wasn’t my “homeless friend.” He IS my friend. At one point he was homeless. Sometimes he helps me with yard work. We met at Laundry Love Santa Ana. All those things are true. But fundamentally, he is my friend. Who he is should not be defined by where he sleeps.
Spend some time reflecting on the simple things in life that should bring you great joy, but don’t. Also, think about how we name and categorize people. One’s essential humanity should be first. You are who you are regardless of a whole slew of circumstantial things. Why should others be defined by circumstances?
What simple things are you thankful for? Whose identity do you need to reconsider?