We All Deserve a Second Chance

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The thing I love recently, is the flow of things. Entire days where doing/creating/working, all done in synchronisation with the natural flow of the universe, and without unnecessary stress.

We all have stuff to do, that’s never the problem. The problem starts in the weight we give those stuff, and the level of influence they have on our lives.
The Buddha used to say that desire is the source of all misery in the world.
The desire the Buddha was talking about, is the desire for things to happen the way we want them to, instead of the way they simply are. And indeed that’s how our lives look like.
We tell ourselves – I wish I’ll close this deal/get a raise/find a wife.
It happened? Yeah!!! We’re filled with joy!
But what happen when we get a parking ticket/the date doesn’t call back/ and we lose our job?
That’s right, we’re getting depressed.
Let’s for a second set aside whether you’re spiritual, person of faith or a total atheist, it doesn’t really matter the reason why things happen the way they are, whether it’s destiny or conditional probability, the fact remains – Reality just happens!

And with this state of mind I went about my day, knowing how it started, but without a clue on how it’s gonna end 🙂
Crossing the street, picking up city bike and off the U-HAUL parking lot to pick up goods for the new apartment from some good friends.
Eli is clearing an entire apartment and giving away a couch, Yoni and Daniel just moved to a new one and giving a dresser. To make a long story short, I need to take a van and set off to a journey.
By the way, packing the truck with goods isn’t the problem, how are you gonna unpack and bring it all up by yourself, that’s the question…

Coming off of Williamsburg bridge, a homeless person jumps in front of the car (as they usually do). He’s a young black male, doesn’t look junky or dangerous, just a little lost, holding a sign asking for help.
Without much thinking, almost instinctually I asked “are you looking for a job?”,
he answered enthusiastically “yes sir!”.
“Hop in, we’re gonna unpack the van”.

Anthony, a 32 year old man from Atlantic City, didn’t share much information during the ride, and I let him be.
“When he’ll feel comfortable” I figured, “he’ll open up”.
We got to the building, Anthony takes off his torn coat and we start lifting everything up to the apartment.

When we finished, I handed Anthony $50, some snacks and unused clothes inside a bag, and thanked him for his help.
But something inside of me signaled that it wasn’t a random meeting and it’s not the immediate help I need to give to this young guy, it’s something deeper! This thing is called “hope”.
“You know Anthony, there’s a lot of people like me, people who need a hand with moving stuff, and to be honest, I was hoping to find someone like you in the lot, someone who can help me.
Now there’s two options standing in front of you, the first one is that I get you back to the corner where I picked you up and you’ll continue to be a beggar, and the second one, you coming with me to the U-HAUL lot, see where it is, and start offering yourself to people who pick up trucks”.
Anthony convinced me he wanted to work and asked that we go to the U-HAUL lot.
On our way there, Anthony was starting to feel more comfortable and asked some questions about the Jewish perception of Jesus, whether or not Israel is a war zone as they say in the news (I showed him pictures from my recent trip so he can see what Israel really looks like), and I even explained to him very simply about the difference between the Hasidic Satmar of Williamsburg and Hasidic Chabbad of Crown Heights.
At one of the crossroads, we were approached by homeless person who asked if we had some change for food. I didn’t have any change so I said no, but Anthony, who moments ago was standing where that guy wad, reached for his pocket and pulled a hand full of change to give the other homeless. To be honest? It was a touching moment.

We parked the car and I told Anthony to change his shirt to the blue polo one I gave him, put the bag and his torn coat aside and come with me.
When we reached the reception counter, I presented Anthony as a guy who helped me with my move, and I told the manager that they have a great opportunity to work together, where he’ll send Anthony to works and they’ll split the profit.
The manager, an old Chinese man who’s not used to people managing him, offered we leave a business card and if anything relevant comes up he’ll reach out.
With a warm Israeli smile and chutzpah, I explained that we won’t need any business card and that Anthony will be there tomorrow 8am. He agreed and we all said goodbye.

Anthony isn’t a bad person, and to be honest, I don’t believe any person is bad in his core, he just fell for this kind of life because he didn’t know any other option.
Our role as a society, is to give a hand to those in need, help those who are in stress, and last but not least, give people a second chance!

Lior ❤️

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