December 18, 2013
|Photo Credit: via youtube.com|
I immersed myself in the project, going out almost on a daily basis and walking five, six, seven hours a day. Once, I even walked 12 hours around the city – uptown to Harlem, East and West, downtown to Battery Park and back home to the East Village. I never took transportation anywhere because I felt that since the homeless live on the streets, I had to walk the streets like they do. After a while, a few said to me, "I've heard of you. You're the guy going around buying signs. I was wondering if you were ever going to find me." I bought about 200 signs and usually offered $20 which they were happy, even ecstatic, to get. (Once, though, I saw a sign that said, "Just need $10". So I said to the guy, "I'll give you $10 for it" and he said, "You got it. I guess the sign did its job!")
What struck me about the people who sold me their signs was their willingness to let go of them. It was as if they had little attachment to them even though some signs had been with them for a long time. Of course, they needed the money. Many people would tell me they had made nothing that day. But I also think that those who possess little have less attachment to material things. They know what it's like to live with less.