Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve read and a book that I recommend. This is a first-person account of a black sharecropper turned homeless vagrant (Denver) who met and formed a deep and lasting friendship with a wealthy white Texas art dealer (Ron) and his family in the late 1990’s.
This story is immensely inspirational and I was moved to tears at nearly every sitting. Denver experienced harrowing events and severely meager circumstances his entire life and I found myself horrified at the hopelessness he endured. He lived the most miserable life imaginable for 50+ years and his detailed accounts of his experiences bring to consciousness the stark desperation and loneliness of life on the streets. Denver humanizes the homeless experience and shares lessons he learned about what really makes us all the same, regardless of our circumstances.
There is a fascinating contrast between Denver’s life and Ron’s experiences of amassing his wealth and cultivating his life of prestige as a high-end art broker. Ron recounts step-by-step his emerging consciousness of the insulated and artificial lifestyle he lived and he really inspires as he compares the facade of his life to the subsistence lifestyle of his new homeless friend. He makes you start to wonder and care more about the suffering we normally blind ourselves to.
Denver and Ron had the bravery to face the darkness of their own souls and take on the risks involved in true friendship. The spiritual growth that it brings about in them is poignant and breathtaking. They experience transformations in their personal attitudes, their outlook on life, and their approach to relationships with others. They learn how resilient they can be in the face of life’s hardships and find that love and friendship are at the heart of a fulfilling and authentic life.
This story is likely to inspire you to step out of your comfort zone more often and make you appreciate the huge impact that performing small acts of service and kindness can have on you, those around you, and the world. If nothing else, the stories of loss and friendship in this book will increase your appreciation for your family and friends.