Well the Homeless Experiment is finally done, I’m back home where I fully showered, shaved and got a haircut.
Here’s what I looked like right before I entered the house:
Feels pretty good to get out of those old, stinky clothes! Some recent observations:
Viewed humans as more of a species than people:
Typically you view humans as much different than animals because of how we live, but when homeless it became more and more apparent that we are strikingly similar.
For example, when staying under the bridge all I could really do was watch several families of birds that nested under the bridge.
As I watched them I realized they’re not much different than I was at the moment. The birds would scrounge around for food for a little while, stop when they had their fill, then go back to their little nests they built out of whatever they could find.
During the time I was (pretending to be) homeless I would do…..well, basically the exact same thing as the birds and all the other animals. Instead of small branches as a nest, I used cardboard and a sleeping bag.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
This ties in with the above. I noticed when homeless my mind thought about completely different things as opposed to a normal member of society. I realized I wasn’t really thinking about anything. My mind was for the most part devoid of deep or interesting thoughts.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs popped up in my head and I realized how much further down the scale I had placed myself by living this homeless experience.
Normally I think of ways to improve myself, have fun, short/medium/long goals and ways to overall improve my life for myself and others that will depend on me in the future.
When I was homeless I thought about where my next meal was coming from, if I had enough water to last through the night and where I would sleep. The thought process rarely got beyond those simple questions.
This was a true testament to the validity Maslow’s theory. I didn’t particularly care about anything above that first rung because that first rung wasn’t completely fulfilled at all times.
Day to Day Living and lack of long-term thinking:
This ties in with the Maslow observation….that since my priorities were set on the basic necessities of life, hardly any head was paid to long-term thoughts. I could see this in the people who are truly homeless…they had no goal or long-term plan for themselves.
I’m not saying everyone needs a step-by-step plan…but at least a vague map of where you want to end up is important (well, actually we all invariably end up at the same destination)!
This observation may play one of the many small factors that keeps some people in a perpetual state of homelessness.