I recenly had a dream that I was a panhandler.
Okay – it was more like a nightmare – but it ended up still inspiring.
It was such a vivid and interesting dream,
when I woke up I had to write it down.
I didn’t know how I was going to use it, but I knew there must be a purpose.
The other day on a trip into the city core (in Toronto, Canada); I came across the usual people that is often seen day in and day out. It is rather sad because they put so much effort to be at their corner every day (like a job), they could easily see solutions to their challenges and make a difference in their life.
Then I remembered my dream. And I’m going to share it with you here. I hope there is hope and possibility that maybe someone will pass this on to others who can use this idea.
I was sitting on the downtown corner of Bay and King Sts – the financial district to Canada’s financial power and major economic decisions. So anyway, I wasn’t doing so good in getting money from people passing by. Actually – NONE!
I was so saddened and disappointed in people that they could not spare a quarter; when they often pay $3.00 for the small cup of orange juice they were drinking. I thought to myself, “Don’t people realize there is poverty, despair, struggle, and other challenges that people face every day among all this wealth and privilege?”
Now, remember this is a dream. Yet, while I was thinking that, I really couldn’t blame them – I suppose. What do I mean to them other than just another faceless tragedy lost in the game of life. As the warloads would say, “There’s bound to be collateral damage when progress is made.”
I was a cold morning; and the winds were pushing their way around the concrete structures without any shelter other than what I provided for myself. Not the best way to invest a life – any life. Even a dog would be taken in. I would look up into people’s faces as they walked by and noticed their frustration as well. Not one smile, or a glance, or even an acknowledgement that a human body was living on the corner for the day.
Sometimes I can be a little dense in my thinking ( – even in my dreams I’m not any smarter, lol); so it took a lot of time to work through how I was going to survive a winter on the desolate wasteland of financial power and oppression. Of course, it took a lot of time (frustration and humility mostly) for me to work it through.
It took a lot of introspection about myself – about my past, present, future; about my skills and abilities; about my life lived as an “unfulfilled expression to the world” in my own little way. In dreams, as we know, there are no real time barriers or set patterns; so I managed to get in all the learning I got from life from my waking past to cram it all in, lol.
I learned something in Sales (in real life) many years ago and it came back to me in the dream. It was about human motivation – their wants and needs – and the role it plays in getting people to do things. It is actually based on psychology and is used in our lives by the media the most. I remembered the very most single important thing that affects every single human (and sub-species, too). It is this:
What’s In It For Me
We are all in life for ourselves. The individual is most important to themselves; otherwise, there would be no effort to live. No point in eating if we don’t care whether we want to live or not. So with that in mind, I came to the realization I had nothing to offer the people as they passed by. There was absolutely no reason whatsoever to even look at me because I was not more than street furniture.
In the dream, I decided to give something in return for their donation. So then the idea hit me! This is the inspiring idea:
- I contacted a small business printer who prints business cards.
- I sought out the printers that give free cards in exchange for free advertising on the back of the card (WII-FM). There are a couple in Toronto.
- With the cards I had printed 250-500 cards with inspirational and motivational quotes and anecdotes (with the ad on the other side).
- When I am on the street, I hand them out to the people as they walk by.
- The person will read the quote and (hopefully) get inspired from the “Thought for the Day” (or another title). In the fine print, you request a small donation.
- The next day, the person will take another card (with a different quote) and remember to give a donation the next day. The person remembers the feelings the card left her/him over the course of the day. They wanted to get the WII-FM – and they do!
- That day next, the person will have some change already taken out (from their cofee shop stop); and when they take a new card, they begin the habit of leaving change every day.
So, as you can see – everyone benefits as I can make a contribution in their daily lives – hopefully it’s a smiling and fulfilled day for the collateral damage of having someone inspired and happy around you every day at the office. In this process, the WII-FM is fulfilled for everyone (printer, panhandler, donor) involved and everyone benefits greatly.
All it takes is a very little creative thinking and some work in the research. ANYBODY can do this – no matter who they are!
So, that’s my dream from a little while back that I wanted to share with you about the possibilities in even the most worst conditions in life. I also wanted you to consider sharing with others with whom you may cross paths.