Sunday, March 22, 2009
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This is the story of Mr. Lopez, an LA Times reporter who was intrigued by beautiful music he heard coming from under a statue in Pershing Square. The chance encounter led to a relationship between himself and Mr. Nathaniel Ayers. Nathaniel was once a student at the prestigious Julliard School of Music, but because of insufficient treatments for his paranoid schizophrenia, ended up on the street. This story, and the book that Mr. Lopez wrote about his subsequent friendship with Mr. Ayers, has inspired an upcoming movie starring Robert Downey jr. and Jamie Foxx.
I thought that this was a fascinating story and am looking forward to seeing the movie. This is exactly what NOTH is all about. Nathaniel had a story that no one would have heard or believed if someone hadn't stopped to ask. He has a name, and he is worth getting to know. He is a human being with innate value as such. It is not what someone does that makes them worth paying attention to or caring about, it is who they are. The members of the orchestra and the media have displayed a small glimpse of his innate value by telling his story, and accepting him on the basis of who he is, not where he lives. I sincerely hope that this story and movie inspire many people to see the homeless in a different light.