Sunday, 12 June 2016

How she found her identity.


It doesn’t give anyone the right to take away a homeless person's identity.

Today I met a very passionate photographer who told me about her story. I would like to share it with you.

She began her story by telling me about her mother’s passing. It was heartbreaking for her and I could tell that this only strengthened her to continue pursuing her career. She is a middle aged lady from Vietnam who speaks broken English, yet she is easily understood.

We got into the topic of giving, as you know by now this is also a passion of mine. Her way of giving is unique and it shows how life and work are inspirable. For those of you who believe in the “balance” formula I have nothing against it, however I do believe that each person has their own idea of what balance looks like.

This will be a great topic to touch on another time.

Back to our photographer, her tone was galvanizing, her seriousness caught my curiosity. The few minutes of talking with her had left me with hope, that there is good in everyone.

We discussed her project that she is working on. She feels compelled to help people who have been displaced and who have no where to go.

How does she do that?

Giving people who are homeless an identity. Sharing their stories and their pictures in a book that she is writing.

We are all unique and everyone has a story. The sad truth is that people who are on the street have no way to tell their story. Worst of all no one cares to listen.

What was amazing is how she captures their story. Making these people feel accepted, understood, and important. I have said this before that we love talking about ourselves. Now imagine because of your given circumstances no one pays attention to you.

It does not feel nice.

People want to be heard. Our photographer is giving these people a voice. She believes in second chances, and that people who are left with nothing are not hopeless.

Putting aside the potential profit that she will make from writing this book, her motivation stems from caring about the people who need help.

The topic for the book originally was "Identity", I loved it, but then her mentor decided it would be better to incorporate the ‘how to’ in the topic. How I Found Myself Helping The Homeless.

The objective of this project is to develop self-esteem and confidence in the homeless people so that they can in turn shape their own identity while at the same time our photographer develops hers. Giving them the tools to be able to construct their identity further helps them to build the courage to be able to be part of society and not an estranged organism simply just existing.

A friend that was at event of which I met this photographer heard our conversation. He specializes in taxes, and had told us that he was able to help by doing tax returns for 300 homeless applicants. They received refunds by submitting their taxes with him.

Everyone has a story. Everyone wants to give. Sometimes we just don’t know how to. Money doesn’t have to be the only solution to someone’s problem. Your time is much more valuable than your money.

If you told someone that you are donating 1000$ to a cause they would probably say that’s nice. If you told that same person that you donated a full day at a soup kitchen handing out soup to people who can’t afford it, they would perceive you in a different way and also it might just spark in them a will to give.

Listen to what your heart tells you and just take action.

The value of an idea lies in the using of it” Thomas Edison.

Thank you for reading this post. To be continued….

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