A lot of people ask how I got
into donating to various causes, and how I got involved
in even homelessness along the way,
然后又重新爬起来 — 这个故事很有意思
and popped out of it—well it’s a very interesting story.
My mom has a lot to do with it.
At six years old we didn’t have any money;
there was my mother, my brother and I.
We had a deadbeat dad;
left us before we were two, but she took us at Christmas-time to
downtown Los Angeles.
We had little cars going around in circles,
it was pretty cool, anyway its decorations in the window.
She gave my brother and I a dime and told us,
” Boys whole half of it each, give it to
the man ringing the bell in the bucket.”
We put it in this bucket, we said,” Mom,
why did we give that man a dime?
That’s like two soda pops.”
那是1951年 可以买两瓶苏打水 三个糖果条
This is 1951, two soda pops, three candy bars.
And mom said,”Boys, that’s the SalvationArmy.
They take care of people that have no place to live and no food.
And we don’t have a lot of money,
but we can afford a dime this year. Boys,
always remember in life:
give a little something to those in need, they’ll always
be somebody that’s not as well-off as youare.
No matter where you are or how far down you are,
try and help someone along the way.”
It stuck with me.
The first time I was homeless I was
22-and-a-half years older and I had a two-and-a-half year old son.
I was working as the Master
of Ceremonies at the Second Annual Sports Vacation Recreational
Vehicle Show and I had a check coming
in at the end of the week. Well,
I came home and I drove our one
car up to where we lived and as I was getting
out of the car and going up towards
我的妻子 — 我们当时很年轻
our apartment door my wife—we were very young, we got
在我20岁她19岁时我们结婚了— 我妻子下楼来 她说:
married at 20 and 19 years old—my wife wascoming down the stairs and she said,”I’m
going to storage,” and she took the keys.
By the time I got through the door I saw my little boy,
two and a half years old, kind
of just sitting there on top of a pile
of clothes with a note that basically said:
“I can’t handle being a mom anymore.
He’ll be much better off with you.
Good luck.” Now,
what I didn’t know also was
that she had planned this for a few months.
She had not paid the rent
for a few months and kept the money and I didn’t know that.
She wiped out what little we had in the savings account
in the bank and took the only car we had.
So unbeknownst to me,
两天之后我被房东驱逐 — 彻底的驱逐 房东把电断了
two days later I was evicted—completely evicted, power shut off,
the landlord—she just really timed thisone.
And I had this little kid with me, two-and-a-half years old,
and now I had to be mom and dad
and that was really a bummer, I had no car!
So I ended up borrowing a 1951 Cadillac
with a broken water pump from someone that was very,
very dear, had to put water in it every four hours,
and that’s kind of how we got going.
Second time I was homeless is when I started John Paul Mitchell Systems.
I knew I needed $ 500,000 to start John Paul Mitchell Systems,
had to have that.
So we had the backer lined up,
I had a good job at the time,
lived in a nice house, and
I left everything I had because $ 500,000 was coming down the street,
I was going to start
So I left it all behind.
I left what money I had
with my wife—we weren’t getting along well at all—and the
于是我就开着那辆老车 — 这辆车不错 就是很老了
And I took the older car—it was a good one but an older car,
开的很顺畅 — 我开着它
it ran good—down the hill
to get my money.
I would check into an efficiency hotel
because I would be traveling a lot and eventually get an apartment.
When I went down the hill the backer pulledout.
No money. Well,
it was later that afternoon that a friend
一个朋友找到了我 对我说: “约翰•保罗
of mind found me and said,” John Paul, please
call Dick Holthouse direct collect in England.
He doesn’t have the best news for you.”
于是我就打电话给他了 他那边正是凌晨 他说:
So I got a hold of him, for him it was thewee hours of the morning, and he said,”J.P.,
the backer pulled out.”
The reason he pulled out was,
inflation in the United States was 12 and a half percent,
unemployment ten percent, actually over ten percent,
interest rates if you could get a
loan prime rate was 17 percent interest and
we still had hostages in Iran and we waited
in line for gasoline.
That was the environment in 1980 and 1981.
Well there I was, a few hundred dollars in my pocket,
too proud to ask my mother if I
could have my old room back
in the home and she could feed me for a couple of months until
I got back on my feet, and I just left my living situation.
I was too proud. Stupid,
but very, very proud.
So I went by and saw my mom
and I borrowed a couple hundred dollars from her.
我说: “妈 我会还给你的”
I said,”Mom, I’ll give it back to you.”
她说: “儿子 你生活过得很好
She said,”Son, you’re doing really well inlife.
Why do you need a few hundred dollars?”
我说: “妈 我会还给你的
I said,”Mom, I’ll give it back to you.
I’m starting something new.”
And that’s when I decided I’m going
to make it on my own; I’m
not going to tell her; lived
in my car;
showered down at Griffith Park because they had a sports center with showers
in it, and learned how to live off very
little and go ahead and sell products door to door.
When I was homeless,
我脑子里想的不是 “天啊 我怎么沦落到这个地步了
on my mind was not “ Oh my god how did I get here?
Who’s to blame on this?”
What was in my mind was “ Okay,
” after I cried a little with a two and a half year
小儿子不知道该做什么 没钱 什么都没有
old son not knowing what to do, no money no nothing,
my first thought was, “ Okay, I
need to get some money,
I don’t want to go to my mom’s house and tell her how bad things are,
I need to get money to eat.
And—what sources of money?
We don’t have any money.
So I went around collecting soda pop bottlesfrom empty lots.
And at that time a grocery store or
any liquor store would give you two cents for a little
one and five cents for a big one.
I went around and collected a lot of them,
cash them in and that’s how we got the money.
And so we were able to eat. Now,
when I got evicted out of the house three days later,
this was when I was 22 and a half
years old when I was completely evicted,
now we have that car I had borrowed to live in
and we went more towards fast foods that were halfway prepared
for you, those were the early
days of fast food, just to eat.
A few days later a friend of mine found me
because he knew I was hanging out, talked
to some friends of mine named Lee Myer.
李说: “小翰 我有个房子有房间空余”
And Lee said,”Johnny, I’ve got a house withan extra room.”
He was a biker, a real heavy
duty biker, and he says,”
You and your son can live here until
you get on your feet.
We could have some of the biker mamas take care
of your son while you’re working.
Let’s move on.
We’re buddies.” And that was a big helping hand.
I think whether you have money or do
n’t have money it’s very important to give back.
Because it’s we the people,
the individuals that make the planet better, so that this
doesn’t happen again and makes it better forother people.
It’s we the people.
If we don’t help others out and people start going down,
then what do we expect as future
customers or future people to help us out if we were in trouble?
So I feel that every human being has the obligation:
pay a little bit of rent for being on this planet,
to do something good
让他们的城市 他们的州 他们的国家 或甚至
for their city or their state or their country or even the
world to make it a better place to live. Now,
if you don’t have any money,
it’s okay: you can
volunteer like I do when I didn’t
have any money at Thanksgiving,
Christmas up at Griffith Park in California, helping
feed the homeless or do something to help somebody else
out to make the world a better
place to live. Now,
who benefits by this?
Whenever you do something
for somebody else and ask absolutely nothing in return you get
the greatest high you could ever have in your life,
and it makes you more connected with
the whole planet. Now,
A lot of people think they have to give
a huge amount of money to make the impact. Well,
I would disagree with them.
Because I remember back with my mom,
we had almost nothing, knew the importance of giving
two little boys a dime to put in the bucket
because she knows dimes became many dimes,
many dollars and many $ 10 bills,
but every little bit gives back, every little bit.
So no matter how little you give or how little
of your time you donate, you’ve done a little
That little something makes a difference.