My New Friend Lives in Washington Square Park

Sean Hayes was a law professor, Dean at the University for Peace (UN University)and led an international law firm. Sean resides in Battery Park City. He is a candidate for NY City Council in District 1.

I spent two hours with and had lunch with a new friend today. My friend lives in Washington Square Park. Yes, my new friend is homeless. I met a good, smart and decent man that has gone astray because of bad choices in his life and a mental breakdown. He has no excuses, he considers himself a "crook." Tariq served time in jail and now lives on the street with an alcohol problem. Even in his situation, he seems happy and he definitely is a character that makes others happy.

Tariq is a good man with an infectious energy and a kind heart. He shares his food and possessions with other homeless, shares his witty infectious smile with all and shares his musical skills with anyone that shall listen. He, also, has some great stories and my talk with him today opened my mind to realities I would never have considered. This lawyer learned from Tariq. Tariq never asked me for a dime and was so appreciative to have someone in a suit have lunch with him at a restaurant. I was so happy to make his day, however, in reality, he made my day. I learned more from him than he can ever imagine. I don't pretend to have all the solutions to the problems of the homeless. This is a complicated matter and for many that matter shall never be resolved with all of the money in the world.

What I do know is we need to be more human, have more humility and not be indifferent to the issues of others. A little kindness can make a huge difference in the lives of others. New York is becoming a colder place, because of a growing lack of humility, humanity, and an increase in indifference.

Be good to everyone, say hello to your neighbor and drop the indifference. I promise it shall lead to special days, like the day I had today, for you and you may change the life of another for the better.

Sean Hayes (Candidate for New York City Council in District 1)

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