David "Nino" Rodriguez

Overcoming Adversity and Achieving New Levels of Success

Motivational speaker, boxer world time champion, David Rodriguez, Author.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Not long ago I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard laughing with some buddies after catching a good buzz, when all of a sudden this black, homeless man looked at me right dead in the eyes and pulled my attention. Like a deer in headlights, I couldn't look away. It wasn't an uncomfortable feeling; I would describe it more as a feeling of a familiar past connection somehow making a resurgence and re-connection. Like someone I knew, but never met on this earthly realm of existence. As if our soul energy had recognized each other for just that brief instant. Such a strange and captivating feeling.

As I kept walking with my eyes locked on his, I couldn't resist this strange curiosity to go up and introduce myself. Actually meet this man that brought so much strange familiarity to me. Like a tractor beam I started to walk his way and away from the group. My friends started yelling and laughing at me while asking me where I was going. I ignored them completely and ran over to the corner to meet him.

As I approached I saw him sitting on his filthy blanket and wondered how this he could have such a familiar and captivating energy about him. As I got closer, he started to grin and said, "Hello brother, I knew you were going to come and see me." I reached out my hand and introduced myself, but no introduction was needed. We somehow knew each other. And the strangeness didn't end there. I gasped a little and said, "Well, you got my attention." I couldn't help but notice the sadness that life had put upon his eyes. I decided at that moment that my friends could wait until I figured out this odd situation, so I took a seat right next to him on his filthy blanket while not giving a care in the world.

As I sat down I said, "Give me your story." He looked over at me with a deep, saddened glare and began telling me his story –- a story that will remain between him and myself forever. As the minutes went by unnoticed, I listened with complete attention and captivation by this man's true wisdom. He truly was an old soul with mountains of knowledge to offer. As he shared his personal story with me, we both had tears in our eyes. I've never met someone that I bonded with so quickly and yet we were both from two completely different walks of life.

I felt such an immense compassion for this human being who was so intelligent yet philosophical in his understandings on his own situation in life. He hadn't the normal desires or cravings of a common man. He understood life. He seemed to get it although strange to us, he knew why he was here. An incredible insight. He understood he was on his own journey in this small blip of time in this three dimensional reality.

We like to call this experience "life" and we call ourselves "human beings" on a planet that's hurling through space that we conveniently call "Earth." It happens to be home to billions of our species battling with each unique challenges. Except, somewhere beyond space and time there is also a home. A more important one. One that he calls the great home for our souls. He understood that the most important things in life are not things. The most important things in life is the air you breath, the feeling of the warm sun on your face, a person you love, and the human relationships you develop in this life, even if it's just to bond with someone for a mere 20 minutes, as was in my case.

This man was completely comfortable in his own skin or body, or as he would say, "My body is just the house for my soul to learn throughout this brief human experience." He preferred to be off the system and grid. He doesn't have a cell phone or check emails. He doesn't use the Internet nor watch television. He believes in human interaction and loves to people watch. Lol–- that's basically what he gets a kick out of. He loves to watch souls interact with one another. That's his favorite past time and he has a front-row seat. He has recognized the insanity in running the rat race, pounding the pavement and working for the machine. He has decided to work for God as just an observer. He needs nothing else. He wasn't an alcoholic or a drug user. He seemed to be fairly healthy, but I did notice he was lonely. He didn't have a family. They all passed away in a car accident years ago and now he was alone. Painfully alone I would imagine.

He was once a proud working man who provided for his wife and children. He lost the endurance for the race once they departed into the next existence. No need to keep up with the Joneses anymore. He doesn't blame God. He seems to understand it's all part of his journey. He preferred to now call himself a naturalist or a simpleton. Probably much like Jesus would be if he were walking the earth today.

I also had a chance to share my horrific story of almost dying and the traumatic events that followed afterwards with my personal grief and sadness. I explained how I view life much different and somewhat like he does now. I'll never forget the grin on his face after I told my story. He said, "Welcome back home brother." I began to weep and he put his arm around me and all of a sudden my sadness lifted. I couldn't help but think how we both crossed paths in our intersecting journeys for some reason.

As I kept on speaking with him I couldn't help but notice how we both somehow became invisible to the hustle and bustle of people. As if the only real time people looked at us was to step around us and look back with a face of shame or spiteful distaste. I couldn't help but look at people in a new perspective. They were the ones with the real lost souls. They have forgotten who they were and I had the chance to see the world through his eyes, if only for a fleeting moment. It was a moment of clarity. It somehow made me very sad inside for humanity.

I asked him how he felt about how people viewed him and looked down on him. He grinned and said, "We are all just one energy and I'm just a reflection of what they don't want to see in themselves." That response was so genuine and prophetic. I asked to hold his hand and said a prayer with my old friend. As we talked a bit more, I decided it was time for me to move forth with my journey. I got up to begin my first step and at that time he looked up at me and said, "Thank you my brother." I gave him the last few bucks I had in my pocket hoping to help him along his journey. I wished him well for the time being or until our paths cross once again. I thought, Who knows? Maybe in the next life or reality, I'll be thathomeless man in that same situation.

As I walked away I wiped tears from my eyes because I knew at that moment it was priceless. You see, I've had the rare opportunity to associate myself with the very rich and also narcissistic celebrities; but I've never taken anything away of substance from them like I did from this one man who appeared to have nothing –– at least nothing on the outside, but inside was gold and diamonds. Nothing came even close to this kind of nurturing substance a homeless, grief-stricken man gave me.

What an honor to be in such a great man's presence. I'm compelled to remind you as well as myself that the next time you pass a homeless man or woman on the street, please stop briefly and think what would happen if the tables were turned and you had to walk just one day in their shoes. You see, not all people are blessed on the exterior with material things. Some are blessed on the inside and here to test humanity's compassion. Some are far more rich than we perceive them to be. Some people actually have souls made of gold and we pass them everyday on the street. The human experience is not about disconnecting or losing touch; it's about connecting and reconnecting by helping each other and showing compassion. The greatest prophets taught us that, but we still fail to listen. It's the only thing that is real.

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