His story was well rehearsed, but I wanted to go deeper. “I was in the Army and…” I stopped him at and. I told him, “You told me that about two months ago, but then you were clean shaven and sober.” He took a step back, “I remember, you walked with me.”
I said to him, “What’s going on, you are a smart guy and I know you want more?” I recalled the last time I met him he spoke clearly and held his head high, I thought to myself that this change was drastic.
As we spoke he shared with me that he uses crack cocaine. He walked in a circle from time to time as we talked. I said, “Do you want help?” He looked down and told me how easy it was to quit. I simply told him that it was not easy to quit, but help is available.
We talked for a solid 20-minutes about his mental health and the negative physical results of his drug use. I don’t usually take this route when talking to folks, but I could see a massive downturn from the last time I met him. We talked about his transformation over such a short period of time. He then told me that he has different people or things in him. He said that God wants him on this journey and that he chose himself to live on the streets.
In mid-sentence I think he caught on to what I was saying about change and help. He froze, looked away and then his eyes slightly glazed as if a tear was about to drop. He walked away in silence and disappeared into the crowd of tourist on lower Broadway in downtown Nashville, never turning back. Perhaps one word we spoke about will later serve as a catalyst to seek help?
American writer Napoleon Hill wrote about success and words that bring success to others being extremely important to everyone, not just a select few. One thing that he stated stands out, “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”