Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tip#606: Movies About the Homeless & Hope - It Happened on Fifth Avenue

One great benefit of going through the experience of bankruptcy (see tip#400) is that I am now debt free. It has also transformed my awareness and empathy for homeless people because I can now relate with having lost a home and most of my possessions. I now see street people with new, compassionate eyes.

On Nov. 15, 2012, Philanthropist Suzanne Rogers and more than 50 other business and community leaders slept on the streets of Toronto. It was for a fundraiser for Covenant House, who provides services and shelter for street youth. Others who joined in included Toronto Maple Leafs President Brian Burke, Arlene Dickinson of Dragons' Den, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott. Read more about the Covenant House fundraiser in: The Toronto Star

Movies can also raise awareness of the homeless and demonstrate how compassion can make a world of difference to someone in difficult times.

It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

The comedy, It Happened on Fifth Avenue, is about a homeless New Yorker named Aloyisius T. McKeever (Victor Moore) who secretly moves into a huge mansion. Along the way he brings in other homeless people where humorous situations result from their money generating ideas, mistaken identities and romance. It also gives you insights on the challenges that arose from The Great Depression for individuals and families.

I just discovered this hidden gem from the 40's and I can see this becoming a classic at Christmas time. It is such a feel good movie! There are also some great motivational quotes such as…

"For to be without friends is a serious form of poverty."

This comedy felt like a Frank Capra film like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town or It's A Wonderful Life. They all entertain as well as bring to light the realities of those hit by difficult times. They can help you reflect on your own blessings and open your heart more to those in need. Now whenever I look into the eyes of a street person asking for change I always do my best to give whatever I can AND with a smile. My own life experiences, though a challenge, helped open me up more to those in need.

Whatever you choose to do or think about the homeless is up to you. One thing for sure is that acknowledging a street person even with just a smile could make a big difference in their day. You'll also feel really good afterwards! Do it today!

Other related tips:
Tip#382: Ignite Your Neighborly Spirit – G20 Toronto Pt.9 – Mr. Deeds Goes To Town

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Emmanuel Lopez-Motivatorman
Author | Speaker | Movie Blogger
Personal & Professional Development for Movie Lovers
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© Emmanuel Lopez 2012



Anonymous said...

I'm confused. In a previous post, you wrote about how you willingly purged most of your possessions as a way of letting go of the past, that was holding you back. Now you say you lost them when you went bankrupt and lost your home. What kind of lesson is this supposed to teach? Also, being debt free after declaring bankruptcy may be great for you, but not for the people you owed money to.

Anonymous said...

Great, you just removed the second 'Debit free!' exclamation, from your original post. Thanks... I guess?
And that is today's lesson from motivatorman.

Emmanuel Lopez - Motivatorman said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for your message. Yes I did remove the second “Debt free” because it just wasn’t necessary to repeat.

To clarify, the purging was a process already happening well before the bankruptcy and that still continues today. The bankruptcy was just a massive purge point during this process of letting go of the past.

And I understand your comment 'may be great for you, but not for the people you owed money to' and you are right... It was not a good or pleasant situation for either party/parties involved, and not a decision that I entered into lightly. Taking full responsibility for my actions and then learning from this are my focus now. And helping in whatever way I can to assist others to not make those same mistakes is also my goal. In no way did I intend to minimize what I did but in having made the bankruptcy a life-changing decision, I am choosing to now make this a positive and move forward.

Anonymous said...

Smells like a grafter.