When I Sell this Paper – Wait(!) I Don’t.
I don’t sell, I vend. I come to the organization to increase my humbler nature and serve the community. That is, after all, why I (and the rest of us) exist…to make Earth a better place.
When I post myself at any of my regular places (that I won’t share with the competition), the members of the community there will be entertained, encouraged and hopefully enlightened. I provide music (at minimum), art (my wireframe assistant Lydia in lights), a melodic pitch and incentive to stop and chat. Every passerby receives a greeting. Example: “Have a mystical, magical, made-to-order Monday;” and a compliment. At times a quip is in order and a select group of “regulars” get verbal and physical hugs.
Everyone gets a prayer before I begin. My ritual includes a prayer for the space wherein I vend and both the passerby and those in their charge and left behind. I always anticipate that, even if not financially supportive, people will be open-minded and receptive, or at least civil and empathetic to the suffering of others.
To increase the benefit to my purchaser and to my community of readers, I work long and hard to develop my writing, photography, marketing and even illustration skills. This makes significant contributions to the community and gives my customers value for value with their purchase.
There are examples to set for the youth in our community. So, I vow that my neighbor’s youth will never see me smoke, drink, act in a vulgar manner. It’s important to respect all community youth as I do my own precious Ronald and Justce. And of course, my actions reflect my parents and their values.I represent.
When I contribute to any number of Street Sense programs, such as the forum planning committee, it is to inform our citizens of specific debilitating symptoms of the public health hazard from which none of us are immune: homelessness!
I have been very fortunate to receive opportunities to participate and cover events in the Tenleytown area, striving to erase the stereotype of the homeless as self-seeking manipulative, shiftless panhandlers. I portray myself, my work and my rearing as a man of integrity initiative and productivity.
A contributing member of a community is, in my opinion, a considerate, honest, friendly, and constructive “ingredient” to a healthy society. There is a support network that I rely upon heavily in the areas in which I sell. Not just for the dollars that pay my bills, provide for my children and keep me safe. But the babies in strollers, whose eyes watch for me to wave, the children whose ears listen for my pitch, and the elders who like the music of the youth. The dogs that wag their tales and visit for a pet and not a paper, and Folks that may never even buy this fine work but appreciate my ethic, empower me. It’s all these factors that bridge the gaps and gaffs of different cultural and economic community factors.