Let me share about a person I came across couple of year back.
An almost 70 year old homeless man played guitar at B.A.R.T. station (a metro train station in California) to collect tips for living.
A while back a urge to help him, lead me to to offer him dinner in a good food joint and I got to know more of him as time went by. More I came to know, more I admired him.
He had done time, but he now earned his tips by playing guitar and wishing everyone with a smile as tired folks made their way home from the metro train station. Honest livelihood. He would be compassionate to other people who slept outside the library with him by bringing in shoes and shirts from a Church he would visit. When he would make more than 10-15$ a day in tips he would be grateful to god for giving him plenty. Which made me pause and think why do I still enjoy seeing my bank balance go up.
Once when we were going for dinner and I was in a rush so I said asked him to accept at 20$ tip, so that we could go early. He denied. Reason ? He wanted to earn some honest tips by playing some music on his old guitar ! I came back after an hour to pick him up.
Recently he he had saved enough to finally buy flight tickets to meet his kids after a long time and record his songs.
His long standing passion of music and dream to record his own album came finally true. He recorded his album at a studio adjacent to the very place where spent his first night in San Francisco when he moved from mid west to SF. He told me life went a full circle in 44 years :).
He wishes to live his remaining age fully burning with Life ! And yet he would not allow me to tip him more than what he thinks was fair :).
I honestly feel he has cracked the meaning of life lively it fullest without a shelter, a job and a family, while I still let my tiny brain over analyze every moment of life. In him I saw a great zest for life. It seemed for him life was being compassionate, having integrity and realizing his dream. No part of him not having enough money, grey hair or aging body came in middle of that zeal.
I made sure I made him a little famous by sharing the above story when I changed my job in my farewell and resignation email. At least, 30-40 people in that startup heard about him that way _(:-)_/