A Tale Of Two Lines

downloadTonight was surreal, as are most nights at the homeless shelter, especially for those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves waiting in line outside a locked kitchen door at the Boccardo Center in San Jose. They stand at least ten minutes before the supposed 5 PM opening, all chatting, all nervously awaiting that opening and the rush of adrenaline that will propel them ever so slowly towards some incredible cuisine, prepared by Chef James. Chef James is from Ghana, but more about him in my next blog.

And so, with steaming hot plates lined up in a precise regimented fashion, just like soldiers, the 5PM deadline arrives and one by one, some of San Jose’s neediest arrive, just in time to feed their bellies at the end of yet another lonely day out on the streets of a city that tries to care and tries to assist, but as yet, has not found a solution to curb what is quickly becoming, an epidemic!

With all of the available food eaten, all their plates cleaned and all my goodbye’s said, it was back out into the cold, yes San Jose can get cold in November, and off to eat dinner at 5 Guys.

Pulling out of my parking spot and heading south towards The Plant, I made a left tun into the shopping Mall and was suddenly struck by a line of a different kind. Hundreds of people were both standing and sitting, along the curbside that led up to Best Buy’s front door. The line must have gone for about 200 yards, each person wrapped up and looking ready to stand in this line for a very long time indeed. Some had coffee, others could be seen drinking from small metal flasks, and just like the homeless line I’d left 3 minutes prior to arriving here, there seemed to be an air of anticipation on each and every face. I parked and walked back to inquire as to what exactly was going on, and there, right in front of me in big bold letters on a sign standing right in front of Best Buy door, I received my answer. PS4, ON SALE AT MIDNIGHT! The words hit me with a bang! No Way!!! No Fucking way! ‘These people must be mad’ I thought to myself. It’s 5 45 PM and they are lining up to get a Play Station 4? Where is the sense in that??

It proved to me once again how screwed up we are as a civilization. About two blocks away there lay 300 or so lonely souls, unable to get a job, unable to get a home and unable to afford anything to eat. Penniless, they stand every night in the hope there will be enough food to go round to feed all of them. And here, at Best Buy, the contrast was staggering. 300 odd morons, lined up to splash out $500 plus on a game center that doesn’t go on sale for another 6 hours! Madness. If only we could learn where our priorities should lie? If only the world made sense and if only there was a way to feed and clothe those who have so little with some of the money from those who have too much! If only we could achieve our goals to personal fulfillment by helping those who have no chance of ever achieving a personal goal. Finally, if only God had created men equally, (obviously a slight misjudgment on his part), then perhaps, and just maybe, happiness and sincerity would reign supreme in a world that seemingly cannot get over it’s dog eat dog image! PS4 will sell and make Microsoft millions of dollars,and good luck to them! EHC-Lifebuilders could use those millions of dollars to feed tens of thousands for a very long time period indeed. There are currently over 2.5 million homeless people in the United States. Their average age?? 9 years old. YES 9 years old. Do you think any of those who are 9 years of age and homeless would ever receive or indeed get the opportunity to play on a PS4, let alone buy one? Do you know how much that $500 would mean to them and what they could do with it? And lastly, having been homeless and having received an opportunity to be relieved from homelessness, should, God willing, that ever be the case for any of them, do you think they would ever lose sight of what they had been through in life and join that 6 hour wait to buy a new Play Station?? Never! Why? Because they understand, there are more important things in life.

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