“Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”
Surely, you’ve heard that saying before and there is a good chance that you’ve experienced it firsthand at one point in your life. We are all quick to judge others, without truly thinking about their history and what they’ve had to go through. We all have a past that defines who we are, but sometimes we forget to show compassion for others. The woman who works at the coffee shop may not smile at you one day because she may be going through a difficult time at home. Don’t take it personally, just do your best to try and cheer her up or offer her a smile.
When 69-year-old Titus Blade Steele was having issues with his landlord in Memphis, he was kicked out of the apartment that he had called home for almost a decade. He wasn’t just given a notice, but instead, he was literally kicked out onto the streets, with his belongings scattered all over the grass. Having no family nearby, Titus had no place to go and nowhere to store his stuff. And to make matters worse, his cats were taken by the Memphis Animal Shelter and given up for adoption because he no longer had shelter for them.
Since Titus was pressed for time he tried to sell his belongings in a hurry. It was during this time that reporters were alerted to his story and they were soon digging through his belongings. They learned a lot about Titus’ past and who he is as a person.
Because Titus had documented the story of his life, reporters didn’t have trouble piecing together his past, and one of the first things they found was a newspaper article about the murder of his brother. It was obvious that this major life incident left a scar on Titus and made an impact that would divert his life path.
His painful past wasn’t the only thing that the reporters discovered about him. There were several photos that chronicled mural paintings, galleries and article clippings that showcased his earlier life as a revered writer, artist, and traveler. In addition to his life as an artist, Titus had also dedicated a good chunk of his life volunteering and sharing his home with more than 20 stray cats over the years. He built a bond with his feline friends and he was able to get through the challenging times in his life.
After Titus’s story made local headlines, there was no shortage of concerned people who wanted to help him out.
Some of his fellow classmates from Memphis Technical High School even came forward and shared that Titus was a “pioneer in the school system.”
While they hadn’t seen Titus in decades, they remembered him for his courage, talent, and amazing personality. He was one of the first African-American students to go to the high school.
“With your warm and cheerful smile, you broke down barriers and made friends that will last a lifetime,” one of his classmates wrote in a letter to him.
In the video below you can see how the community worked together to brighten up Titus’s life a bit. Several of his classmates, who remembered him well, wrote him heartfelt letters and donated money to get him on his feet again. He ended up with $1,500.00.