If you encountered Jesus Christ on the street
do you think would you would recognize him?


This video (and one of the chapters of my book) was inspired by a man I had met when I was around the age of thirteen. He had a reputation of being crazy. My parents always told me to keep away from him, even though they did not know him. He was a very tall man, in his 40's, with heavily dread-locked beard and hair and lived in an abandoned chicken coup. He did not drive a car, and spent much of his time in the woods and picking through people's garbage. We would frequently see him walking up and down the highway carrying huge bundles of clothing. He was always smiling, even in face of those who mocked him.

 

The first time I met him, was out in the woods. I was hiking with my dog when I saw him peeling the bark off of a tree. I asked him what he was doing and he told me that the tree had a virus and there was still time to save it. He spoke articulately and with confidence. He knew the scientific name for the virus and how to remedy the tree. I was intrigued by his intelligence and compassion for this tree, and even more so, for the fact that he was not seeking any kind of recognition for his efforts. He went on that day to enlighten me to the precise mechanism of the ecosystem, and how everything we do affects the world we live in.

 

Throughout the years, I got to know him very well. He was a beautiful Soul that loved people, regardless of their opinions of him. He seemed to understand their apprehension toward him and could see passed it. The only time I ever saw him distressed was one day when I ran into him going through someone's garbage. He was frustrated. I asked him why he was upset and he showed me all of the clothes people were throwing away. "These things could still be used by those less fortunate. But these people would rather just add to the pollution of landfills, than to take the time to bring it to the donation bins." I then realized that this was the reason he was always going through everyone's garbage; to gather up the usable items and bring it to the salvation army bins.

 

After he died, I found out that he was once a high powered attorney. He chose to remove himself from society, after experiencing a corrosion of his Soul from his greedy and self-serving lifestyle. He had always spoken about the destructive trends of society, but I never realized just how much he really knew of it. But he chose to remove himself from his conformed role in the downward spiral of greed and materialism after he opened his eyes and saw the true essence of his being. And although he was no longer living in a mansion with accolades from his peers, he was at peace with himself.

 

To me, this man was the emanation of Jesus Christ. 

Society preaches the beauty of Jesus Christ, depicted as a man with no sense of materialism or superficiality and with nothing but selfless concern for his fellow man and the Earth. But when society sees a man like this in reality, they shun him with ridicule and disrespect.

 

So the next time you encounter someone who is shunned for their nonconforming ways, give them the time of day, you just might be enlightened.


 

"The good man does not grieve that other people do not recognize his merits. His only anxiety is lest he should fail to recognize theirs."

-Confucianism. Analects 1:16

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"Virtue advertised is not virtuous.  The greatest virtue is that which is hidden." 

– Tao Te Ching


"Men who acquire wealth by evil deeds, by adhering to principles which are wrong, 

fall into the trap of their own passions and fettered with karma they sink further down."

- Jainism. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 4:2


"Who is honored? He who honors mankind."

Judaism. Mishnah, Avot 4:1