I don't consider myself to be rich, but I know I'm not poor. I know this because I see so much disaster in this world, so much need, so much suffering. It really isn't hard to find--walk down just about any street in the world. Turn on the TV to any news channel. It is in every city, every country. Haiti was recently devastated by earthquakes, but they've been devastated by their leaders for hundreds of years. War wages in countless pockets of the world. Sickness, homelessness, starvation, and malnutrition plague billions. Near my house in La Jolla, California, nestled among multi-million dollar homes with ocean views, high-end stores, and $100/plate restaurants, you'll find homeless people begging at a number of popular intersections despite being surrounded by Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedez, Lamborghini, BMW, and other luxury brands at every changing traffic light. When you think about it, it is simply outrageous.
A few weeks ago I stopped at the light in my Cayenne Turbo S. Yeah, I'm one of them. There was a man, around 60 years old, standing there with a sign stating the painfully obvious. Hungry, broke, homeless, need any help you can give. Palming a bill in my hand I rolled down my window and said, "Excuse me sir, I'd like to help." He walked over and took the bill in a friendly exchange. I said, "How has your day been going?" to which he replied, "Not too bad. My body still works and the weather sure is nice. How do you like that car?" At first I was a bit unsure what to say, but I explained that its great. I had just shipped it from Virginia where we really need 4-wheel drive, but it has enough zip to be fun to drive too. We continued talking for about 20 more seconds until the light changed, a few more until I heard a beep behind me. His face was lit up the entire time.
I don't even think he realized the denomination of the bill I had handed him until I was long gone. The smile on his face wasn't because I gave him money, it is because I took the time to talk to him. Imagine being homeless, without friends or family. Imagine what others would think of you. Imagine watching a sea of wealth pass you every second of every day, without being able to get your hands on any of it. I'm pretty sure the smile on his face was because someone took the time to talk to him, even if only for a minute. Because for that minute the tattered, dirty, hungry, homeless man and the 30-something executive driving the Porsche were just a couple of guys having a chat.
Many of you, my early visitors, know me very well. I'm obviously not blogging to make an income. However, blogging can and does generate income, due to people having an interest in the products advertised here, or by clicking through to Amazon.com to buy an iPod, a Kindle, a best-selling book, or anything else Amazon sells. So I figure, why pass up that opportunity? Why let my readers wander away at random, when I can give you a chance to generate income for the blog as you leave the site? And better yet, I can take that income and put it to good use--to create more stories like the one above?
Here in San Diego I'm involved with a number of charities, which I'll discuss more in future posts. My wife and I are members of San Diego Social Venture Partners, I'm an advisor for the Equinox Center and we are Equinox Center Donors, and my wife is involved in charities on her own as well as others we support together. My company ServInt recently sponsored a charity concert for Haiti relief. The list goes on. With Outrageous Outrages I hope to work toward generating an understanding through my posts and rants that can help give you an awareness of not just who needs help, but also how you can help them. With this blog I'll also be gathering every penny I can from the revenue generated, I'll be accepting donations, and, most importantly, I'll be providing a matching percentage of all money generated by this blog. Because together we can do much more, and anything less would be an outrage.