At the LA Times Book Festival this year, I had a marvelous time meeting a remarkable young man (now 30-years-old), Old Man Saxon, who raps about homelessness and other social issues. On Love University, he told us his personal inspirational story.
As a lonely and homeless young man living in his car in Los Angeles, Old Man Saxon found the positives in his situation, and even garnered humor from his experiences. He recounts an attractive young lady he met while he was homeless—he later learned she was homeless too—and they ended up having a good connection without spending any money on going out.
His advice: “If you’re not happy being alone, you’re in the wrong company.” He says people are lonely when they don’t have their “inner home”—the part of their mind that is content within itself.
Although homelessness can be dangerous, difficult, and heart-wrenching, Old Man Saxon found a certain liberating feeling in doing what he wanted to do on his own, without worrying about the usual societal expectations. He sees his homeless experience as a rite of passage for himself; growing from boy to man. He admits that he had certain advantages (he had a car), but he did face difficulties (he was robbed of clothes and cash while sleeping). Through his personal story and raps, Old Man Saxon, has inspired others who come to homelessness from abusive relationships, mental illness, and other unfortunate circumstances. He says that no matter how bad off he was, he always said to himself: “This homeless state will end. I will grow stronger from my experiences.”
His message: Don’t let the stigma of homelessness diminish your self-image and self-value. We are all God’s children, and sometimes circumstances conspire against us. Yet, despite all this, we can remain strong and confident in the belief that we are a person of value, love, and contribution. Find your inner mental home of security and love, and you can live everywhere and still be happy.