i think coming to an understanding of yourself is one of the hardest things there is to do in life. it has been for me. something that has been one of the most difficult for me to understand about myself is my compassion...sometimes the lack of it....sometimes the depth of it....sometimes the overabundance of it. i've come to realize that i'm not a naturally compassionate person. it's not embedded in me as it seems to be in other people. i have to work at it and remain aware of the fact that i let life and all its distractions get in the way of being compassionate. i'm sympathetic, emphathetic, judgmental, rational for the most part, and have a knack for cutting to the core of an issue most of the time. those seem to come naturally and are a part of my reasoning process when i experience a problem or encounter a social issue. but compassion....it sometimes gets clouded and pushed to the side when i deal with things.
i think homelessness is something you have to have a high degree of compassion for in order to begin to understand it or deal with. you have to be able to set aside all the numbers, facts and figures, data and research that's been accumulated and processed about the homeless. you have to be able to set aside the core causes and reasons that people are homeless and go straight to the human aspect of homelessness. i think that's one of the very basic reasons we haven't beaten homelessness or been able to reduce the number of homeless. we lack the very basic compassion to do it. you have to able to look past addictions to heroin, chronic alcoholism, gambling, domestic abuse, family abandonment, poor life choices and all the other things that cause or contribute to homelessness and look straight at the plight of the homeless themselves. you have to be able to see the pain, the suffering, the struggles and the emotional distress that being homeless causes and the impact it has on the individuals experiencing it. when you can do that, then you begin to understand why we should help the homeless and strive to end homelessness, regardless of the reasons and causes. it's the human aspect of it that should drive us and motivate us. it's the plight of our fellow human beings and the toll on them physically, mentally and emotionally that should guide us in our effort to bring about a resolution to a self complicated issue here in the united states.
men, women and children who have no home. families struggling to stay together without shelter. teenagers struggling to find a way in life while having no roof over their head or anyone they feel cares about them. theses are the things that we should keep in mind when we think of the homeless and their situation. it cuts to the very basic moral compass of us as a country, as a state, as a community and as a human being. how we treat and how we attempt to deal with and come to a solution for the homeless reflects on us as a people. how we think of, how we help, how we remain aware of the homeless states volumes as to the condition of our society and country and its moral and ethical condition. every religion teaches we should help those of us weaker than ourselves, particularly the poor. i think every piece of moral code that has been passed to us from generation to generation has that bit of genetic information in it.
awareness brings compassion that brings action. that's supposedly the process we take when we deal with a social or justice issue. if the chain slows down or stops at compassion, then the action taken will be the wrong one or for the wrong reasons. we need to begin to reduce homelessness and ease the burdens of those experiencing it. perhaps we need to begin to approach the solutions based on compassion for our fellow human beings and not from an economic standpoint. perhaps we need to start addressing homelessness strictly from a compassionate standpoint. i think then, if nothing else, we'll be fighting the good fight for all the right reasons.
see you around town