This Man This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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As a Youth Evangelist for the Diocese of Norwich, I have had many fulfilling experiences. A particularly memorable one was a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 1993 National Catholic Youth Conference, which was an opportunity for me to share and discuss my faith with my peers from different regions of the country.

I spent four days going to workshops. But I did not sit through boring lectures, instead I participated in skits based on real-life situations as well as discussions based on issues.

While walking to and from these workshops, I met many people on the streets of Philadelphia. One person changed my life in more ways than he could ever know. He was a homeless man. Each morning I passed this same man sleeping on the corner by the hotel, and each night he was in the very same spot.

As insignificant as this one man may seem in a world so big, he did so much for me. He taught me to appreciate and hold onto every little thing I have because it may not always be there for me. Unlike that man, I have a wonderful, loving family which I take for granted all too often. Food is also something that I have always assumed would be around whenever I was hungry. For this man, that was certainly not the case. He valued every last morsel he was fortunate enough to consume.

As the conference came to an end, I walked by this man one last time. I was planning on leaving some food for him, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that several teens had beat me to it. There he was among a pile of food with a wonderful smile on his face. That moment was something that I will never forget.

Although this trip was one I'll remember always, I do have a few regrets. I never thanked this man for all he did for me, and I never asked him what his name was. It hardly seems fair to call him simply "this man." I know he is deserving of so much more.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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