You choose to see what you want to see.

I could write ten blogs all with that same title.  Be it about life, love, luck, work or anything else; we choose to see what we want to see.  We all see things from our point of view and very very few of us are ever willing to see things from others points of view or put ourselves in others shoes.  We get upset when the waitress doesn’t remove the lemon from our tea or smile correctly.  Never thinking that waitress may big dealing with something far bigger than your lemon in her head…. We are a very egocentric society.

This blog is about something we all see daily, but really never see.  We literally visualize it but never fully process it… at least not for what it is.  And in our worlds of “my life is hell”, “that isn’t fair”, “why can’t I do that”, “works sucks” we fail to see just how petty, stupid and immature a lot of things are.. we fail to see the big picture.

I’ll admit, I am not a big picture sort of person when it comes to a lot.  I can see big picture politics.. but past that, I rarely look past now.  I am always thought life is way too short… you need to live for today, not tomorrow.

Yesterday morning, one of my friends and I got up at 7am and rode our bikes. (yeah really, 7am).  I met him at the park under Academy but I had left from my condo.  I rode though by the YMCA, though Cleveland Park and into Falls Park.  As I rode I passed a group of kids in a summer camp, a few people walking their dogs and one of two joggers.  The trail is dead at 7am.

As you ride into Falls Park from this direction you take a short ride on the street that runs between the park and the Governors School.  During the day this can be a headache but yesterday morning there were just two cars.  One was a City of Greenville vehicle and the other was a small compact car, actually the exact same car I drove growing up.   As I approached the car I noticed it was packed… from floor to ceiling and from window to window.  Once beside of the car I noticed a silver screen, like you would put in your windshield on a sunny day, was wrapped around the front drivers window and the windshield.  I instantly thought, I bet someone is sleeping in the car, but continued on and really didn’t give it too much thought.

We rode to Furman and back, I left my friend at the park and continued toward the condo.  As I came through the park it was much more crowded, a lot of people had ventured out and it was now close to 9:30.  People were walking around with their kids and there cameras, shooting pictures of the Liberty Bridge and our award-winning city.  There, in the middle of it all, likely in some of those pics, sat that car, now with the screen down.

As I turned onto the street I was now facing the car and approaching from the front.  Sitting in the car was a lady who looked rather rough.  It was clear she had slept in the car, and I would assume, based on her appearance, the cars appearance, and the fact that it had been there for hours at this point, I would assume, she is homeless.

Over the years I have heard several people say Greenville doesn’t have a homeless problem, if we do they are in the Berea area.. the Travelers Rest area.. they stay near the Triune Mercy Center or the other shelters on the north side of town, but homeless people don’t hang out in Greenville.

Part of that is reality.  The City of Greenville police that patrol Main Street, patrol Main Street.  That is all.  They know the merchants and those of us who work downtown, and they know the homeless people.  They do their best to run them off and keep them out of our view.

But the other part is we choose to see what you want to see.  Homeless people are all around us.. and trust me.. more and more people are becoming homeless every single day.  We do see them, we just choose not to think about it.  We would rather complain about where to eat, who hurt our feelings and why our dogs want to go out so much rather than be thankful for what we do have.

Even if you don’t do anything to help these people…. at least acknowledge they do exist.  They deserve at least that.  I would argue they deserve a lot more.. but looking at the big picture.. we have to start somewhere, and acknowledgement is always the first step.


2 thoughts on “You choose to see what you want to see.

  1. James, listen…you won’t hear me say this often, so listen well.

    I agree with you.

    Recently our small group helped out with a ministry in Downtown Greenville called the “1 John 3:17 Ministry”. Each Monday evening a different church delivers and serves a meal to the homeless at the David Street Baptist Church (just steps from WYFF). As we served and spoke with the people, it was heartbreaking to see so many stories. You could tell some had jobs and had been working all day, but still didn’t have a place to go. One lady politely asked for more after everyone had been served. She said she was going to take it to “her friends under the bridge” where she stayed.

    I’d say we served about 50 people that night, but some nights they’ve had as many as 100 to show up. All polite and friendly, and thankful that people would provide for them.

    I’m just glad that I had the opportunity to help out…but it was an eye opening look into our beloved downtown for sure. Anyone willing to look, will see.

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