Monday, January 26, 2015

Homeless People: An Article by Stephanie Lahart

Homeless people! Many people look down on them, so that’s why I wanted to write about it just to give you all some real food-for-thought. Hopefully after reading this passage, you’ll have a change of heart if you’re one of those people who feel like ALL homeless people are lazy, just want a hand out, don’t want to work, etc.

First of all, I want to say that I thank God that I've never been homeless, and I pray that I never will have to face something like that as long as I live.

Why am I writing about this and why do I even care?

As I’m out and about I see homeless people all of the time and instead of looking down on them in disgust, I ask myself, “I wonder what happened to them? What is THEIR story?”

Do you realize that not all homeless people are bad people? They are human! Some people that are out there just had an unfortunate fall in their lives and for whatever reason, they were never able to get back on track.

I’m about to share some examples of what could have happened in their lives. I can’t possibly name them all, but I just want to give you something to think about.

Story #1
That homeless man that you turn your nose up to, did you know that he lost his wife and kids in a car accident? That’s right! A drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit their car from the right side and killed everybody except him.

His family meant everything to him. Yes! He had the nice home, the fancy cars, the booming career, but all of this meant nothing to him anymore because he had nobody to share it with. He’d always been the strong one in the family, but this was just too much for him to bear. He lost it! Literally!

Story #2
That lady that you just looked and shook your head at, did you know that she had a childhood from hell? Yep! She was abused all of her life by the hands of her own father. Her mother knew about it, but she acted as if she didn't see anything.

When this little girl grew up and was old enough to leave the home, she was already damaged in every way possible. So she took to the streets just to get by. Now that’s she’s much older she just walks the streets talking to herself. She’s literally out of her mind. For many years she used drugs just to try to numb the pain, but instead, she got caught up in the street life. She honestly tried SO many times to get it right, but her painful past always got the best of her. She just didn't have the strength, will, or courage to pull through her past.

Story #3
You know that young adult that you see hanging out at the park down the street from your job. As you walk by, you always think to yourself “Why is he always carrying around that baseball and glove in his hands?” Well, did you know that he lost his mother at the tender age of 14, and he and his father have greatly struggled to let her go? This young man has endured a lot in his short life, but his father did the very best that he could. Unfortunately, he lost his father 3 years after his mother passed away from cancer.

This young man was left on his own. He didn't have any close family that he could turn to. His passion has always been playing baseball, although he doesn't play anymore. Carrying his baseball and glove brings him a little peace in his mind. It reminds him of his beautiful parents and how they used to support him. They were his biggest fans!

He’s homeless, but he stays at some nearby shelter when there’s room available. Not only could he have gone pro, but he was a straight A student that took all honors classes. But all of his dreams were shattered when he lost his father. That was the last straw for him. He’s a good kid, but he just doesn't have the drive anymore. He just exists with no motivation or hope for himself.

Story #4
You know that older gentleman that just asked you for something to eat? Although he hasn't shaven in God knows when and he smelled like he hasn't had a shower in days, this man used to be somebody that everybody respected and loved!

You see, he used to be a very successful banker, AND he was an accomplished artist. He not only had a successful career, but he volunteered his time helping at-risk youth in underprivileged neighborhoods. Everybody loved him because he had a big heart, and he truly cared for people.

But one day while he was at work he received a devastating call informing him that his best friend, whom was his grandmother, had just passed away. His grandmother taught him valuable things about life. He was who he was because of her constant love and support. When the love of his life passed away, he was never right since. He started drinking heavily until it took control of his life and consumed him. He lost everything!

Although he was highly educated and extremely articulate, he couldn't keep it together. Who would have ever thought that he’d be going down this road? No one! But life happens, right?

I’m going to bring my examples to a close, but I want you all to remember this: You don’t know a person’s story! It’s not always what it looks like. Be thankful and grateful for what you have and know that YOU are truly blessed!

Homelessness in America is VERY real for many people from ALL walks of life. Try your best to remember that the next time you have an ill thought about them, because they count too! Sometimes things happen to us in life and it can really take a toll on us if we’re not strong enough to handle it. Trust me, it can happen to any one of us.

- Stephanie Lahart (Author & Poet) 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Racist People: An Article by Stephanie Lahart

I wanted to write a passage about racism, so I’m doing just that.

I used to get really angry at people that were racist, but now that I’m older and wiser, my heart actually feels sorry for people like that. Here’s my take on racism.

Back down memory lane...

I can remember back to when I was in high school. I had a lot of friends from all backgrounds. As a matter of fact, my best friend was white. I had Latino friends, African-American friends, Asian friends, White friends, etc. You name it! I had friends from all cultures and I loved it! We didn't see color. We had fun with one another because we all shared some of the same interests. Things like: music, dance, certain classes we took together, family life, and plans on what we were going to do with our futures. And I can’t leave out the fact that there was plenty of laughter, joking, and good times back in the day.

That leads me to what I’m about to discuss.

How could anybody live their life disliking and/or hating a person because of the color of their skin? I just can’t wrap my mind around that. I couldn't imagine living my life hating a particular race JUST BECAUSE. It’s pure ignorance and makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

Now, I can understand if you don’t like a particular person, but the whole race? Really? What could you possibly be getting out of this? Why do you choose to be so mean, evil, and hateful? Is it because you were taught to hate other races? Did you grow up in a racist household? Do you come from a family that feels like they’re more entitled than others? Look, there could be all kinds of reasons WHY, but I would like to challenge you to do something for me.

Open yourself up to new relationships of different races. Learn to give people of other races a fair shot. Don’t be so quick to judge them by the color of their skin. You could be missing out on great relationships! Learn to look at people’s character as opposed to the color of their skin.

Now let me ask you a question: Do you honestly think that everybody in your race has your best interest at heart? Do you think that everybody in your race can do no wrong? When I turn on the news I see all races doing VERY bad things in this world: Rape. Murder. Committing robberies. Burglarizing people’s homes. Watching child porn behind closed doors, although to the public, they're a well-respected person. Molesting children and ruining their lives. Shooting up schools and colleges, etc. And GUESS WHAT? It’s not just ONE race doing these horrible things. It’s ALL races!

I said all of that to make this point. People are people! You’re gonna have your bad apples in every race. So you have no right to point fingers at a particular race. You just don’t! Every race has bad people and there’s no arguing that!

I myself am a fun-loving, giving, outgoing, funny, and all around great person to know. I am true to being myself! I love life! I value life! I enjoy life! And I love people for who THEY are.

I’ll leave you with this: There’s SO much going on in this world. We ALL need one another whether you want to accept it or not. We need more peace, love, and togetherness.
I encourage you to stop being closed-minded. Learn to be kind to others and be a good person. Stop putting all of your negative energy into this world. Look at people in a different light for a change.

I’m sure YOU’RE not perfect yourself. Nobody is. Just like everybody else, you have your own issues that you deal with too. No matter how much money you have, where you live, status, or whatever the case may be. You’re not exempt from anything in this world.

Really take a look at who YOU are as a person and make some positive changes in your life. Move forward and change how you view other people. You’ll be freer as a person. I’m sure of it!

Do you realize how much energy it takes to be mean and hateful? How could anybody be TRULY happy with hate in their hearts? I just don’t see how that’s possible. Let go of negative energy and live life with peace in your heart!

PEACE…There’s nothing like it!

- Stephanie Lahart (Author & Poet) 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Beware of Your So-Called Friends

Don’t be overly shocked when people show you who they REALLY are. Be thankful that their TRUE character has been exposed. Please understand this: Some people talk a good talk, but their real intentions will soon surface to the top. You’re sadly mistaken if you think that everybody’s going to be happy for you. Jealousy and envy are VERY real. I would strongly recommend NOT overlooking what you see, hear, or feel. A lot of times, people show us what they’re all about, but we choose to ignore it.

Don’t waste your time or energy on people who aren't going to be a part of your future. Everybody isn't meant to be a part of your journey. They don’t deserve all of the blessings that you have or are getting ready to receive. Your future doesn't include them. Let people go who just aren't worth it!

Be mindful of the company you keep. Some people smile, joke, and laugh with you, but on the inside, they secretly dislike you because they wish that they were in your shoes. Take note and pay attention. Are your friends REALLY your friends? Food-For-Thought.

- Stephanie Lahart (Author & Poet)