Woah, I had not blogged for three weeks and interestingly enough, I have been working every day for three weeks. Second day off is today and my flu or whatever it is is narrowing.
Some words from Woodstock’s 2nd day, August 16th 1969 addressing the problem that there were too many people and too little resources. Apply these words to us today and they still ring true and should be followed. This was said after The Who performed “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.
This is one thing that i was gonna wait awhile before we talked about, but maybe we will talk about it now so you can think about it because you all, we all have to make some kind of plans for ourselves. It’s a free concert from now on. That doesn’t mean that anything goes, what that means is we’re going to put the music up here for free. Now, lets face the situation we’ve had thousands and thousands of people come here today many many more than we knew or even dreamt or thought possible. We’re going to need each other to help each other to work this out because we’re taxing the systems that we have set up. We’re going to be bringing the food in.
… Now, the one major thing that you have to remember tonight,. when you go back up to the woods to go to sleep or if you stay here, is that the man next to you it your brother. And you damn well better treat each other that way because if you don’t then we blow the whole thing, but we’ve got it, right there.
I live in NYC and thus I get asked for money every day from men, women, & children. There are throngs of people who brave the summer heat, filthy and bearing signs with something of the likes of “Homeless, tired, and hungry, please help.” Sometimes these people get on the train and beg, sometimes, they sleep peacefully with a can. I’m not going to lie, it takes a very rare day for me to open my wallet to these people. Not because I am an ignorant selfish jerk, but because they have become part of the urban landscape, commonplace and much like anything else we see regularly, always with their tales of woe, often with the same tale. I often see the same people I’ve seen over the years with their same script. It takes a standout to take notice. Last night, as I was waiting for the train home after work, dozens and dozens of people began to flood the platform, waiting. As I walked down the platform to find a spot to park and wait, I saw a clean middle-aged man with a striped shirt approach a young hipster. He asked something I couldn’t hear and then I passed them. The man made his way down weaving in and out of the people waiting, mostly 20-30 year old white hipsters and asked his question. There was something about this man that I couldn’t deflect. As new age as it sounds, he had an aura. He finally made his way to me and by this time, I had come to the realization that he was asking everyone for money. He asked, in the most mannerly and respectful way possible, “excuse me, but do you have something to eat?” I looked into my bag and said, “No.”, which was true. His eyes probed into mine. There was something about him. I felt like he was a soothsayer or something, testing the morals of the people on the platform. His eyes stared straight into every person he asked and he shook me. After he left me, I felt crappy. No, I didn’t have anything to eat, but I did have money in my purse, which would give him something. He was carrying a bag with coconut water and what looked like a salad, so maybe someone had given him their dinner. He made his down the platform, his probing eyes, asking everyone in no exact manner and he turned and made his way back. When he had made his way back to the young blond man standing next to me, I couldn’t take it anymore. I reached into my bag and grabbed some money and handed it to him. He then made direct eye contact and said, “Thank you miss, you have helped an Army Veteran.” Flustered, I said, “Thank you!”
There was something about that man…I wish I could have given him a $100.