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As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

"A" is "A."

Time and time again, I hear well-meaning people in various aspects of service to men and women from the street make comments such as:

They lie.
They are thieves.
They are con artists.
They say one thing to your face but don't follow up with their actions.
They can't be counted on.
They are disorganized.
They are unreliable.
They don't really want healing.
They can't be trusted.

They may carry names such as B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. 


"A" now lays on your cot in your E.R. injured or ill or recently overdosed.
"A" is your client in need of food or clothes or housing or hug or handshake.
"A" wants to feel welcome in your place of worship.
"A" says they want help.
"A" needs the professional guidance and support that you can provide.
"A" states that they don't ever want to go back to drugs and the streets.
"A" plans to never do another "date."
"A" wants to learn a new trade.
"A" wants to go back to school.
"A" wants to be back in relationship with his/her children.
"A" wants to hug their parent before that parent's new diagnosis claims them.
"A" wants…
"A" needs…
"A" hopes…
"A" dreams…

Did B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z let you down in some way as you've interacted with them?  Yes?  That is disappointing.

Make it just that: a disappointment in that situation with B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z.

Don't make disappointment your expectation for your interaction with "A".

"A" is not B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, nor Z.

"A" is "A."

"Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is.
Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be."
- Stephen R. Covey

"If you treat "A" as you feel they are,
They will live down to your expectations.

If you treat "A" as you feel they can be,
They will live up to your expectations.
- Paraphrased by Chris Battin from Stephen R. Covey

"A" is "A."

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