On March 31st I arrived back in Minnesota where I have lived most of my life. It was the second time I had returned from being gone for an extended leave of absence and once again I find myself, because I'm such a nerd, reciting the words of Frodo Baggins, "How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you know there is no going back?"
I've lived most of my life struggling to have the basic needs of human life. I know that in America most of what we see as basic needs are not needs at all, but I grew up watching my peers having nicer clothes, better toys, nicer homes, less homemade from scratch food which, as a child, I saw as better food. I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining about my upbringing, class status or anything else, the truth is I loved my childhood, and there's nothing I'd change about my upbringing. I only mention that to illustrate the fact that in leaving on this adventure, I wasn't a trust fund kid slumming, I wasn't looking for handouts, and I wasn't wanting to give that impression. All I wanted to do is what I thought someone needed to do to show anyone who would pay attention, what some people go through on a daily basis. I've made friends along the way who, as I've kept in contact with them, have watched them work their way off the streets and back to much better living conditions. That is amazing, and I'm glad for their friendship and amazed by the way they opened up to me and gave me insights into their private lives.
Sadly, this is not the end of the struggles in this country. Hard working people are still losing their jobs, many employers are still not giving their remaining employees raises in pay. With the ever rising price of gas and in turn everything else, America's lower class is sinking farther while the middle class is only just keeping their heads above the surface, so to speak. I'm sorry to say that in a world of corrupted politicians things are not going to change. It's up to us to change things, we can't fight about our petty differences anymore.
Donate time, old clothes, blankets, shoes, furniture, and if you can money to your local shelters. Something as simple as serving meals makes a world of difference to the people you serve and you will gain insight to how millions of people live, insights into their reality.
There's no way for me to pick up my life where I left it. I've seen and experienced too much to be the man I was only a year ago. Looking back on all I've done, I have no real regrets, despite what many people have said to me or about me, I've seen success in what I set out to do. This blog has been read thousands of times in over30 countries around the world, and it continues to be read by an increasingly diverse group of people. I only hope that my insights have made some sort of a difference in the world.
Check back now and then; this isn't the last post, although they will be farther between than they have been in the past.