I met Zeke as he sat on a cement staircase, sheltered from the elements in West Los Angeles. His look captured me and I could not wait to learn and speak to him. An extension of my hand to his was welcomed by a firm, yet welcoming handshake and smile. He has lived on the streets of West L.A. for over 20 years. Born into a military family in Germany, and by the age of 3, he was living in south Texas.
When asked as to how he treat each new day, and how he values life, his response filled me with a new sense of gratitude. His words made me smile. “Don’t lie. Don’t Steal. Treat anybody in the way that you would want to be treated”. He adds, “More than this, you cannot do. Some people will respond in like kind, other, are who they are.
I then asked him as to what his immediate needs might be? His answer was one that I hope to emulate….” Brother, I live in the world, and the world provides for me. God provides me with everything I need. When he lets wake up in the morning at 61 years old and with my physical problems which is ok and most likely terminal, it doesn’t matter…none of this matters….you woke up this morning and from there on, it’s on you. You were given the gift of life, one more day. And so, you start that day and do the best you can”.