Love for Venice Beach

*picture does not belong to me*
*picture does not belong to me*

This past Friday, I went to the beach. Though I probably should have stayed home and started on the countless of homework I decided to procrastinate on for a whole week and is due in two days, it was my Spring Break and I’d been cooped up in the house every day.

This is normal for me to do on my breaks. But this year, I just wanted to go out for once and be carefree for a whole day.

So I decided to to go to Venice Beach (CA) with my boyfriend. Living in Southern California, there is a variety of beaches we could have chosen from. But nothing compares to Venice Beach.

I usually hear people saying that Santa Monica is the best because of the Pier. But I have to disagree. Sure, it’s nice to walk on the pier and go to the Ferris Wheel and get closer to the ocean without actually getting in the water. But personally, there’s nothing special about it. It’s always so crowded and busy and typical of a beach.

My mom never really liked taking my sister and I to Venice Beach when we were younger, mainly because of all the “crazy people” lingering about. But those “crazy people” are what give off the best vibes to the beach and a sense of creativity and individuality.

It doesn’t matter how many times you visit, there’s always something new to see or something out-of-the-ordinary.

My favorite thing about walking through Venice Beach is always reading the signs that people hold up.

Whether it’s “Need Money for Hooker” or “Hungry Hungry Hobos” and smelling the marijuana as you walk by and realizing why they’re so hungry. Or even just a simple “SMILE,” that life radiates off peace and happiness and honesty because no one is hiding the truth of why they’re there, of what they’re thinking, and of what they’re creating.

This visit, there was a section on the boardwalk that had two rows of plastic bowls lined up, all representing different religions. The sign said “Which Religion Cares More about the Homeless.”

Now I understand that this is just a creative way of asking for money. But it was intriguing and I took the bait.There were Muslim, Catholic, Mormon, Buddhist, Atheist, and more. There were even other categories of religion such as Love, Peace, and 420. (For those of you who don’t know, 420 is a ‘designated’ day that Stoners get high on).I was tempted to drop my dollar in the bowl of my religion, but then I got to thinking.

Whether we care about the homeless or less fortunate or human beings in general, it should not be based on what religion we come from. That should have nothing to do with our humanity. You could be any religion and still care for the well-being of others even if they’re homeless.

So I dropped my dollar in the most reasonable bowl- LOVE. I would much rather have my selflessness be defined by my own compassion and empathy that comes from myself rather than it coming from something else or because my religion says I have to feel and act a certain way.

-Sabrina

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