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Today I got to meet one of the people that helped me mature even further this year. Although I am 30 years old, i still have tons to learn, much wisdom to gain and even more situations to endure. However, as I stated in my previous post, I am massively eager to see 2009 be over.

I met Mark Horvath today from Mark had come from another part of LA to where I work in Venice, to pick up a few baby car seats that I had to help use in his pursuit to fight homelessness.

Another video of Mark’s work (I first discovered his work after his CNN article):

Mark from on Vimeo.

Mark’s work is what inspires many, as well as myself to realize that as bad has things have got lately, that some are still off far worse. I still hold my ‘American Dreams’ and aspirations to see myself and my family far better off, however, I also feel compelled to give a hand with any way I can to help make things a bit easier for others around me. The hardest lesson for everyone to really learn in life is that, its not all about you, even when you truly believe you don’t live life that way. I am happy to say I will be working with Mark on some non profit web projects in the future, that will hopefully have an effect on the war on homelessness.

I recently have heard other’s speak of the homeless situation as ‘their fault’ and just people that are dirty and lazy. I can tell you from people that I have met, figures that speak of the overwhelming majority not being mentally ill, and just victims of bad domestic situations or a bad economy. Maybe working at a shelter for even a day would change the ignorant’s paradigm. It hurts to read children being so widely effected by the current economic situation as well. Being a father, I can tell you that wanting the very best for your kids is probably the highest of priorities in one’s life, but scares you to death to know what could happen if someone just lost a job.

I have seen churches that are well off, ask of their congregation to donate money to further the expansion (which really comes to be simply the ‘re-beautification’) of their church, instead of using proper fund towards people in critically bad situations. From what I remember, people make up the congregation, congregation makes up the church, and the church is what serves God and His Word. If a ministry really wanted to increase their numbers, then why not help the homeless, I am sure many of them would in turn spread the good faith of what that ministry had done, which is far better than any marketing plan, or making your Churches’ building look prettier. Thankfully, there are many people (including churches), even the young, that are still doing great things for the less fortunate.

I see a bit clearer this days, but still with much to learn, of some of the discrepancies between good non-profits, and the ones there are just out for the proverbial ‘glory’. Glory to say that are helping people, but only by handouts. A simple but small example is this, my true belief, when applied to homelessness especially, is that you cannot simply feed them dinner, and give them shelter for a night. There has to be some measure in assistance in rehabilitation. Think about it, if you could really focus on 1 person, help them, nurture them, and bring them to living well, and if mixed with humble nature, how many people could that 1 person then help?

Enough of me being slightly angry.

There were many others that shaped me further this year as well, either it be through disagreements, or simply being told that you should ‘never be tired’, which in the correct context is true. This year was rough, but I feel it did molded me even further, and hardened me a bit too. This is not just professionally, but personally as well. One of the most famous quotes that I liked, but now understand further from Michael Jordan is: “I have something more important than courage. I have patience”. Of course it being from a commercial, but so dramatically true. Patience, and staying calm in the midst of life’s hurricane’s is incredibly difficult. This doesn’t just include keeping your own composure, but the composure of others, be it family members, coworkers that look up to you, or even children. It may be more pressure, it may be more difficult without the silver lining, but hang on. You will come out stronger for it.

So in ending with what will probably be my last entry for 2009, I leave the rest of the aforementioned quote for 2010.

    “Look me in the eyes.
    Its okay if you’re scared.
    So am I.
    But we’re scared for different reasons.
    I’m scared of what I wont become.
    You’re scared of what I could become.
    Look at me.
    I won’t let myself end where I started.
    I won’t let myself finish where I began.
    I know what is within me…even if you cant see it yet.
    Look me in the eyes.
    I have something more important than courage.
    I have patience.
    I will become what I know I am. ”