Note: As a student journalist, Reighan Fisher has done extensive reporting about the homeless. She contributed the first audio story to our audio page in December 2015. This is a blog posting she wrote about "breaking stereotypes" when reporting about the homeless.
One of my goals in life is to break stereotypes of the homeless. One of the first questions I asked Robert Basham was how he came about his situation.
An Honest Man Trying to Stay Sober
Robert was an honest man who admitted that he had been struggling with alcoholism for a long time. Although he has been sober for two years, when I asked him what his biggest goal in life was it was to simply stay sober.
An Impressive Resume
Now at first glance I'm sure you wouldn't expect this man to have copies of his resume on him along with an impressive educational background. In 1985, Robert graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor's Degree in electrical engineering and according to his resume has only been out of work since 2013.
Furthering our discussion about education he said: "You don't learn an idea in college and make a million dollars off of it. You go to college to learn how to learn. "
Facing Judgments and Fighting Battles
Robert was very well informed with issues going on in our country as well as the judgements people like him face everyday. His response to that : "I can't help what other people think of me, I'm working on my own life."
So here is what this comes down to. I'm sure you all know of somebody that is currently dealing with or has suffered from alcoholism. Just because they may be "well off" and not homeless like Robert, does not mean their addiction is any less from his.
So many people are fighting battles and so many people choose to take the step towards recovery everyday, and yes this includes the homeless.
Do Good With Your Life's Path
Robert went to college, earned a degree and even though he did everything right up until that point, he was still faced with this battle that any of us could encounter. I hope you all get something out of Robert's story. Never let society judge you off of your weakness, instead be like Robert and show society that it's okay not to be perfect.
Because the people who change the world are the people who inspire us to get out there and embrace the path life has shown us and do good with it. #breakingstereotypes
This was adapted from Reighan's website page, "Capturing Culture". For this original posting and more of Reighan's reporting and insights visit http://theproductofpeace.weebly.com/capturing-culture.html