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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Jordan, PhD


It is amazing where we can experience moments of inspiration. At times, inspiration is fleeting and subtle. We may not even realize that it is hovering around us—waiting to descend upon our hearts and minds.

I found inspiration on the “Corner,” down the street from where I live. It came in the form of a homeless man exhibiting dignity in a simple gesture that many men may take for granted every morning. In tattered clothes with a grocery cart of garbage bags filled with his life belongings, the homeless man gracefully positioned himself in front of a smoked glass door providing a reflection of him in the early morning light. And then with habitual accuracy, he shaved his face unfettered and un-phased by passing pedestrians on their way to work and school.

So some may ask, “why label this an inspiring moment?” A homeless man, struggling to survive in a concrete jungle and in a society where homelessness is not necessarily the exception, but a major reality—what? Inspiration? Yes, inspiration. You see, what I witnessed that early summer morning was someone who regardless of his station in life cared about his humanity…his appearance…his manhood.

His actions touched me in a couple of ways. It spoke of human dignity and the right for this man to be seen and not ignored, as an invisible fixture among other urban accoutrements. No one looked at him as he gazed into the mirrored door and gently ran the razor up and down his face. His actions showed me that underneath the veil of poverty perhaps each individual movement of the razor moved him closer to a life of normalcy and acceptance. Finally, the homeless man reminded me that wherever we are in our lives, we can always take one small step to move us closer towards actualizing our passion and changing our lives regardless of the pain or fear we may be feeling at the time. One small step…just one, can move us closer to a new reality.

I continue to think about this compelling image, even weeks later. This small, but yet mighty gesture inspired me to think differently about my condition, my fears and myself. If only he knew how he touched my life that early summer morning. He inspired me to take ACTION and so should U!

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