Food Fashion and Flow: Park Bench People   

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Park Bench People





The plight of people suffering affects me. It always has.  There are some who are fortunate enough to be walking advertisements of success and others who are the poster child for poverty. I saw a very polished woman at the gas station. She was impeccably dressed in designer wear from head to toe and she was driving a very nice luxury vehicle. I looked at her and thought, that is one together woman.  A homeless man in a wheelchair asked her for some spare change and she threw five fingers up as if she were saying “talk to the hand” At that moment this woman no longer looked so polished. Her actions made her ugly in my eyes. Even if she didn’t have any spare change, there was a more dignified way she could have addressed this man.  I watched the exchange and when he came my way and asked for some money, I told him I didn’t have much to spare but I had a few coins in the car. He said: “Thank you, that is certainly more than I have now” It broke my heart that someone already in a bleak situation could  be treated so unkind.


I thought about him and the multitude of people who call park benches home.  For me a park bench is where I go to write, reflect, meditate and relax, but for someone else, it is home.  

This economy is the worst we have seen since the great depression and quiet as it's kept, there are a lot of us who are a paycheck away from being park bench people.  People have interesting stories  and I always listen. Even a park bench person has a story to tell.   

I met a homeless lady a couple of years ago and we struck up an interesting conversation about life and about the power of God. It was early in the morning and before we parted I shared with her that I was excited to be going to New York in a few hours and she asked if it was ok to get my cell phone number, which I didn't hesitate to give to her. About eight hours later I had a message on my phone from her telling me she was thrilled to have met me and she hoped I landed safely in New York. The well wishes of a complete stranger really touched me.  If you are kind to people you certainly get that back. That is my credo in life to be a blessing to other people and I don’t care how much or how little they have.


He has a story to tell
 What if this was your address?

He is the face you see without a name, but he is not invisible


I have no right to complain about anything. I sit on this bench and ponder that the real meaning of life is to have compassion and love for people.  To try each day to touch someone...

 This leaf necklace, a symbol of nature. If you want to see God, just open your eyes and admire his creations.

This ring sparkles brightly against this black ensemble.  You and I are called to shine in dark places too. You might be all the light someone sees.

sometimes in life, all you can do is stand

God has put all things under your feet


And the most powerful book in the world says:   
“Whatever you do to the least of people, you do to me”
Matthew 25: 35-40



The song Park Bench People by Freestyle Fellowship is one of the most moving songs I have heard about the plight of the homeless.  Mykah 9, the original vocalist actually improvised the lyrics to this song about his experience  being homeless in the Leimert  Park area of Los Angeles. I find that kind of talent and that kind of heart inspiring.





The song is powerful and even has a sample of the Freddie Hubbard classic “Red Clay”.  I have included two interpretations  by Jose James.  They are raw, jazzy and very improvisational, much like the original.


Here is to a field of dreams and park bench people having a better tomorrow.
Photobucket

53 comments:

Miss Dre said...

This was so beautifully written, LV. My heart goes out to those without shelter. Sometimes we don't realize how blessed we really are. It saddens my heart so see the homeless treated so badly and disrespected when we are all, in fact, a paycheck or two away from poverty. I am so glad it was laid upon your heart to share this beautiful message with us.

May God continue to bless you!

Yolandaas said...

love your leopard print bag!.. x

Duygu Senyurek said...

U are so sweet,

Frannie Pantz said...

Ok, this is an absolutely beautiful post. It really touched me to read it. I was actually without a house for a year as a child, but we shuffled between family friends and family and motel rooms. I couldn't imagine living like this, though. Thank you so much for writing this and putting what's really important into perspective.

Again, thank you so much for your comment and support on my blog. I very much appreciate it.

❤AdamAlexMommy❤ said...

this is inspiring! you're a terrific writer and you touch people. :)

you look phenomenal at the park!

xoxo
jasmine

Sing said...

So chic. love the all black with the gold necklace.

Joyful said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you for giving a human touch to those nameless (to us) people we often see on the streets. Your heart is good and kind. I pray for others like you. Blessings. xx

Danielle Celeste Couture said...

Preach!

victory said...

Amen!

francesca romana capizzi said...

You are beautiful inside and outsise...what you wrote touched my heart too..
Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
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Kassi said...

I've never been a wealthy person but I feel tremendously blessed in life. Bless you for your kind and compassionate heart. I wish more people would think beyond themselves. You look gorgeous besides. :)

http://theclosetintervention.blogspot.com/

Like Mousse Au Chocolat said...

wow great post ! you always surprise me !

Style Agent 909 said...

What a lovey, thoughtful post. Nice to see a blog that also puts the focus on others. And thank you for stopping by my blog.

Carte Blanche Couture said...

I have dedicated my life/work to the pursuit of social justice so this post truly touched me - I absolutely love it and find it to be excellent food for thought. Oh and your great outfit was the perfect compliment to such a profound post!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

so beautiful....you have such a way with the written word!!

Carsedra said...

This brought tears to my eyes!! You see homeless people everyday and you may think "ok what did you do to get here," like they had to have done something wrong. I have been guilty of that, but before you cringe at the sight of them, stop and remember that is doesn't take much for you to be in that place too. Some of them aren't there because of something they did, but due to circumstances beyond their control. Awesome story!!


Cute outfit as well!!


Carsedra of:

http://embracingtherealme.blogspot.com/

http://sweets4yourtooth.blogspot.com/

toi said...

reading your piece felt as if i was standing next to you and observing everything. you have such a way with the words.

new follower.

Gail and Rhoda said...

This is the most beautiful blog post I have seen in a long time, and so are you! Thank you for sharing your heart. Recently while in LA I saw a lot of homeless individuals and the song with the lyrics "I forgot he was created in the image of our God" kept playing in my head. Thought provoking... - Rhoda

Natalie Suarez said...

amazin! love it :)

xx

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Taylor Morgan said...

Sweet post :) I live in NYC and I always feel so bad walking past a homeless person... especially when it's cold. It doesn't matter why they are homeless, no one "deserves" anything like that. I always try to give when I can. I's not our place to judge. :)

Elly said...

this is such an amazing post! love the necklace!

http://flyelephantfly.blogspot.com/

The Queen of Hearts said...

A very powerful and touching post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I'm adding you to my favorite new blogs. I can't wait to check back and see what other fun fashion posts you come up with!

The Queen of Hearts

Girlie Blogger said...

You are certainly one of those beautiful inside out people.

Just wanted to share that every person has a story. Even homeless people. A lot of them are actually very smart individuals who fell into substance abuse, and had no family to turn to. It takes a lot for them to get back on their feet.

It's impossible to help every homeless person. But we do need to make them feel dignified.

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

Ioana-Carmen said...

Nice post! Check my blog and follow me if you want!
Ioana

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Jelisaveta Djukanovic said...

Beautiful outfit! :)
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TRAN Thu Hang said...

You have a beautiful heart and gorgeous style.
Have a great day!
xxx
Hằng

SAZI'STOPSECRET said...

hey i came across your blog,your blog is beautiful,come check out my post and follow me if you like it through GFC and i will follow back,cheers

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Julie Spen said...

I love love love the long cardigan. Wonderful post.

Found you on my IFB inspiration group. Loving you're blog. Feel free to visit me over at http://rippedtightsandpinstripes.blogspot.com/ if you like.

xx,
Julie

lucia m said...

LOVING YOUR JEWELRY!

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Outside Looking In said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this--what an inspiration you are!


www.wayoutsidelookingin.blogspot.com

twiggy@thedirtlife said...

thought provoking.

thanks for visiting my blog and encouraging in my lent fasting. and yet, leaving this here post, i am encouraged again.

maybe that's your gift.

may we all treat the less fortunate with a great love.

Emmy said...

Such a great sentiment, LV. It does sometimes amaze me how easy we forget how blessed we are for whatever we have, as there is always someone out there worse off. This economy has brought out so many problems in our society, not just the financial aspect, that I do really pray that the light is on the horizon.

Alina said...

You look great in black!Love the coat!

Clara Turbay said...

your fashion ideas are great!

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Teo said...

Great boots and jewelries
Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog,following you now
Don't forget to visit me for more fashion and fun:)
Hope to hear from you soon!
xoxo Teo

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Sophie Handbags said...

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thanks!

Chic Therapy said...

love you necklace

Chic Therapy said...

"your"

Mom Fashion World said...

Beautiful post, as always, my darling.
You are such a great writer.
I am so inspired of our posts... not to mention, you are becoming more and more beautiful.
Take care.

fashion kats said...

Love the black look and the statement necklace!
I like your blog, I'm follwoing! Check out mine someday and follow back if you like it!

xo
http://www.fashionkats.blogspot.com/

Bonnie said...

It breaks my heart whenever I see homeless people. I wish I could save everyone in the world, but I just can't.

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Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Dear Girl Wallflower said...

your blog is unique...i can see fashion, but writing about the world and some depressing situations and how God is shared to us is what made me impressed....

High Heels & Good Meals! said...

Very touching. Love your outfit! It's so sleek.

Tanii said...

I like your necklace, it's amazing! :)

Tanvi said...

Such a thought provoking post!!!

On a lighter note, love your leaf pendant.

♡ from © tanvii.com

Chi said...

what a thoughtful post :)
besides, i really love your outfit, especially the cardigan :*

262Trinity said...

great post and beautiful outfit.

new follower

http://anythingandeverything026.blogspot.com/

Elvira said...

This post is moving! I agree with everything you wrote! People are so heartless and selfish! I'm following you!

Punctuation Mark said...

love your necklace!!! it's stunning!

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

I love, love this post gorgeous and lovely photos of random people at park benches. And you're so right we all have a story to tell that explains why and where we at in life.!

You look stunning as always doll.


<3 Marina
Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle

Sincerely Mally said...

Awesome accesories!

lisa signorini said...

I checked your blog and I like it!
Visit my blog, if u want we can follow each other!
have a great Monday!

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Roxy Fashionista said...

Love the post & the outfit, your gorgeous!!

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