Richard Loek's website

Set your mind to it

I was a the 21st Century Democratic club meeting on Friday, November 13, 2015.  An amazing conversation about homelessness, the financial impact and what we can do to move about and beyond homelessness.  Jennifer Loving of Destination Home spoke.  Very engaging.  I spoke up that none of the solutions will take three years.  They can all be accomplished in 24 hours – Set your mind to it!

We can accomplish anything – Set your mind to it.

  • We can end homelessness – if we set our mind to it.
  • We can build shelters for people in record time – if we set our mind to it.
  • We can feed the world – if we set our mind to it.
  • We can cure diseases – if we set our mind to it.
  • We can end terrorism – if we set our mind to it.
  • We can build a house in under three hours – if we set our mind to it.

What would you make happen – if you set your mind to it?

Homeless and physically challenged
My Buddy, Phil – homeless

Put yourself on alert – what will you take on today?

San Jose Homeless camps – creativity is what we need

How can we support the homeless without soliciting their input?
How can we support the homeless without soliciting their input?

A duck walks into a restaurant and asks, “do you serve duck?”

When you read that you don’t instantly yell out, “Ducks don’t talk!”

When someone speak about homeless people – most seem to say this issue is bad, these people need to go!

I say, we, society, need to set aside all that we know and own that we have not been effective.  Sure, we can look at other models or do study after study.  We can create think tanks, we can create a task force, etc.

I say until you have set aside what you know, you will not create a viable solution.

I will continue to invite Sam Liccardo and Dave Cortese to think outside of the box.  For now, it should be very clear that harassing these people is not the solution.

San Jose Homeless camps

Starting from scratch, a clean, slate, an empty binder, with no preconceptions of how to address this situation will yield the very best result.

Let me ask a question.  Are the homeless people citizens?  Are they truly homeless?  Have we revoked their citizenship?  (Sure maybe a small subset is from another country – I’ll give you that).

For now, assume everyone is human, a citizen, and has unalienable rights.

I’m looking to create a new distinction.  What new word can we create for this amazing class or group of people?  The Greeks created citizenship.  I’m curious what we can create that enfolds all of us, especially those we call homeless.

Join me in thinking outside of the box.  Set aside all that you know or think that you know.  Embrace this opportunity to create a solution from scratch.  Not idea is too silly, too bold, or to be discounted.  All ideas will be considered – they must however be respectful of all citizens.


Another discussion of homelessness in San Jose

California State Senator, Jim Beall
California State Senator, Jim Beall

Today I had lunch with movers and shakers in the Santa Clara county.  State Senator Jim Beall was speaking about issues he is addressing at the state level, which impacts all of us.  Homelessness was one of the various topics he raised.  Ironically, I had raised this conversation, about the homelessness in San Jose, at my table not knowing that Mr. Beall will later raise the issue too.  I was fortunate enough to spend lunch with a couple of very powerful and friendly people.  A philanthropist who I will be following up with.

At one point the conversation turned to women’s rights to decide what happens with their bodies.  Very engaging and enlightening conversation.

A video, maybe the gateway to becoming homeless

When I shared with the philanthopist my current concern, how to compassionately support our homeless population, she shared with me a great video.  The video is not about homelessness, per se, it is rather about the poverty right here in Silicon Valley.

What are you doing to make a difference with people?  A hug and a smile often can make a huge difference.

Homelessness is a festering issue

2014-11-12 11.08.07
This gal – well, she drinks. I’ve seen her enjoy a beer on two occasions.

I grew up spending much time out of doors.  It was fun, boring at times, and I enjoyed spending time in nature.

Then as an adult I had the opportunity to become an Assistant Boy scout Master.  Once a month we had a camping trip – rain or shine.  Some trips were very cold, such as snow camping.  Cold was never as bad as when it rained.  Rain water has a habit of getting everything wet – especially clothes.  Then chill would set in…BRRR!
As I walked to my car today I came across a couple of people living outdoors.  An elder lady with a shopping cart – she pulled under an eve to blow her nose.  I later saw her walking her cart through a very heavy down pour of rain.

2014-11-15 20.41.35
These ones, well, they are not homeless, simply playing hardball!
The second person, well he had taken his wet shoes off and was sleeping in the elevator at the parking lot.  Three people went to get on the elevator and ushered him out of the elevator.
I wonder, are they enjoying living in the great outdoors?  How did they get there?  What happened?  Do they have mental health issues as most of the indigent do?  Maybe they simply lost their job and their world collapsed.  Or maybe they are like a friend of mine, Phil, who had health issues, lost almost everything and then lost everything when another car hit and totaled his van.
Do you wonder what happened when you see these people?

These people have a commitment to making a difference with people who have substance abuse issues.
These people have a commitment to making a difference with people who have substance abuse issues.
Is it camping or a bad situation getting worse?
Maybe you believe in Karma – the drought is here until we solve this issue?
I don’t have the answer, yet.  I do know this issue is eating at me.  I do believe solutions exist.  I also know that there is not a solution, this will be a body of solutions.
I don’t believe in hand outs, only hand ups – or hug ups!  I heard a story a couple of weekends ago.  A man was walking an outdoor mall in Southern California.  He walked by a pan handler…  A few steps later he turned around and asked her what she needed most.  She thought and responded with, “A hug.”  He gave her a hug, a long, long hug.  She told him that she had not had a hug in over a year.  Not long after this she managed to get her life back on track.  She reached out to this man to let him know she was okay.

As the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean
As the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean
A hug?


San Jose – Until one is committed…

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

William H. Murray

A Ben Franklin – in his words

“My way is to divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns; writing over the one Pro and over the other Con. Then during three or four days’ consideration, I put down under the different heads short hints of the different motives, that at different time occur to me, for or against the measure. When I have thus got them altogether in one view, I endeavor to estimate their respective weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them both out. If I judge some two reasons con equal to some three reasons pro, I strike out five; and thus proceeding, I find where the balance lies; and if after a day or two of further consideration, nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a determination accordingly.” –Benjamin Franklin

I found this language and quote on several websites, therefore it must be truly from Ben Franklin??

Moving on

Master Mind Goal Setting

As I am working on my plan for riches and the universe aligns to support me with this…
In speaking with a group member yesterday we discussed goals, not as such, but as having that check written out that you deposit in the future.  Much like Jim Carrey did years ago.  The discussion was about writing that check for too *small* of an amount.
Today another member was sharing about a call he was on where they were strongly suggesting taking your goal and multiply be 3.  You are highly likely to exceed your original goal.
This brought up for me – BHAG!  This is a concept from the book, Built to Last.  It stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
There is something to be said for creating a huge goal – shoot for the stars, you’ll certainly make it to the moon.
Back to my path to riches project!