"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
-- Ian MacLaren
Stephon is a roadie. A sound tech. He spent years traveling with famous bands. Setting up. Tearing down. These days Stephon spends most of his time living in a tent underneath a bridge, and because of local laws, he still spends his time setting up, and tearing down.
The first time I met Stephon he was pulling a small cart loaded with a huge bucket of water, a bag of miscellaneous treasures, and a small child. As he got closer, the child in the cart turned out to be a large doll, her hair pulled up neatly, and she had a slightly distracted look on her face, as if she was wondering how she got here.
Stephon is known on the streets for what he does for others. He built the cart from discarded parts and now uses it to deliver various items to others who live out on the streets.
The water is for people just down the street.
"They need it," he said.
"And I am taking the doll to a woman who collects faces." Though such a comment might initially sound a bit horrific, I actually know of the woman who collects faces (mannequin heads, doll heads, and paintings of faces). But this woman lived miles away from where Stephon and I were standing, and that meant Stephon had a long walk and a long night ahead of him. "I like to take care of people. It's what I do," Stephon said.
Here's a man struggling with his own challenges, and yet here he is taking care of others!
I have been working out on the streets long enough to know that he may have been pulling that same cart, loaded with that same doll, telling that same story for months, or even years. I was skeptical.
Just then a homeless woman came up and give Stephon a big hug. They exchanged greetings, and she turned towards me and said, "This man is a life-saver! He watches out for everybody out here, bringing us what we need." I don't want to turn Stephon into a saint, or gloss over the many challenges he is facing. I was simply reminded that everyone is fighting a battle, and this man is trying to help others fight their own. @jeffl7 CEO @seattlesugm