"Why Can't We All Be Friends?" - Steven's Backstory

Written by Larissa
Steven Baumgarner-017.jpg

Have you ever felt misunderstood or judged wrongly because of your outward appearance? Do you struggle with getting along with people who think, believe or live differently than you? Odds are, like the rest of us, you have experienced unfair prejudice a few times at least in your life, and also that you, like everyone else, has wrongly judged someone at first glance.

These words come from a new friend of ours, Steven, who has been on and off the streets for the last year and a half (he is almost 21 currently) since he turned 19 years old.

Why can’t we all be friends? Sure we have different beliefs and stuff but we can still be friends. I don’t see the need for all this hate and putting someone down and everything. We could all be building people up, even if we have different walks in life. You can still build another person up...just watch how much the better the world gets for it.

One of our street friends brought Steven in to share his story last week, and in between telling us his life story and doing voice impressions that left us rolling in laughter, we heard so much wisdom and compassion in his words and saw it reflected in his eyes. In Steven’s story interview, he spoke so passionately about the desire for us all to get along, and he reminded us how important it is to just be your authentic self, no matter what other people think or say about you. He spoke about loving people unconditionally, and truly believes that we have the power to make a difference in the world around us when we speak love instead of hate into people’s lives. His desire is for people to get to know another person’s heart before they judge quickly based on how someone appears on the outside. It really is what’s on the inside that counts.

Steven, it was an honor to meet you and we are so overjoyed to welcome you into the 7 Billion Ones family. His story and portraits will be featured in ‘The Road I Call Home’ exhibit and published on 7billionones.org in the coming weeks, and we are very excited to see the impact his incredible story and portrait images touches the lives of people all over the world, from all walks of life. You can read more stories from our homeless and street friends HERE.