I felt the need to write this. Though some might figure out who the person is, I am not sure if that person will want me be writing about them, that is if the person ever knew that I did or am about to write this. I mean no disrespect, nor do I dislike this person, I just want to tell a story.
When I was in Los Angeles I went out for a day with a relative. I love this relative though we are not very close and have different ideals, beliefs and goals, I still enjoy his company and the small amount of time we spend together though we do live in the same city. He invited me to go thrift store shopping with him then afterwords try to play a pick-up game of volleyball down on the beach. I was a bit hesitant as I always am with things I do not do on a daily basis, but I went. I found an awesome 70's style button up shirt from a thrift store, changed into it, found it matched the hat I happened to be wearing amazingly, and fell in love with it. At that point I was instantly glad that I decided to go.
We ended up down at the beach and got to talking to some young Latino kids, asked them to play a game of volleyball with us and they obliged. It was a great time all around, everyone was friendly, we all got along, talked and joked around and really enjoyed ourselves. On the walk back to the car we got stopped by two gorgeous girls that work for Redbull energy drinks. We chugged down our sugar free Redbulls, hoped in his large SUV and at that point we both noticed what one would call a 'transient' walking by. I should at this point go back and explain my hesitations earlier about going out with this relative. Though I enjoy his company, he can sometimes press his religious beliefs on me, which makes me feel uncomfortable. We have two different perspectives on religion, or more so I do not have a perspective about it rather just some thoughts.
It was at this point of seeing this dirty man walking caring a large backpack that this relative jumped out, grabbed something out his glove box and chased him down. In the mirrors I saw the man look back, and wave my relative off, ignoring him. Once my relative got back into the car I looked at what he had tried to hand the man. It was religious paraphernalia. A card with a cross and something written on it. Now I am all for people having their beliefs, I am all for people feeling something great in their beliefs and wanting to share that with others if only so someone new can feel whatever great thing it is they feel, wanting to share this. That is a great thing.
What I had a problem with was of all the people we saw that day who my relative picked to share his religion with. It was not the cashier at Goodwill, was not the kids we played volleyball with, it was not the Redbull girls. Out of all the people of our day my relative had picked out a person he felt, based on nothing more than a social construction, that he was better than. Someone that looked homeless. He did this because he felt he had something to offer this person, something this person couldn't possibly have because he was homeless looking. In my relatives mind it was obvious, this man was not as well off as him, he had something this homeless man did not. He had more, he had something to offer. He had an SUV, kids, a wife, a job, and this man appeared to have none of that. To me, this relative of mine was profiling. He felt he was better than this homeless person, felt he could offer this homeless person something, if only because he had the things that make you appear to be 'happy, doing right with your life, etc...'. To me, someone without a car, without kids and a wife, without a job and salary can be just as happy or yet better off, happier, and have more than someone with all those things, it is only society that makes us think the opposite.