we live in a fast paced world. it's a world of facebook, twitter, emails, cell phones, cable television and other social media outlets. information and technology are at our finger tips at an almost blinding and overwhelming speed. we see all the good and the bad in the world played out in front of our eyes like no other time in history. we are connected to the world like no other generation has been. but at the same time we have become disconnected from the world like no other generation. we see so much bad news, so much suffering and so many horrendous things flash before us we become almost immune to the people behind those happenings. sometimes we just need to stop for a moment, take a pause, and think about some things. we need to slow down and think about the true impact of what we're seeing. we need to step away from the next major event and remember that what we're seeing is very real and scrolling to the next entry or page or channel doesn't change what's happening or the consequences of that event. there's people behind every news event. there's tragedy behind every piece of bad news we see or read. there's another human being behind that headline or tweet or entry on a news feed.
i hope you will take that moment right now. step away from it all...and listen. you know i write about homelessness and poverty and hunger. i want you to step away from all the arguments about the homeless and poverty and how to solve it. i want you to step away from all the programs that people undertake to solve these issues. i want you to step away from the underlying reasons and causes of poverty and homelessness for a minute. step away from the costs and who's paying for it and the stigmas and name calling and other things associated with the issues of poverty and homelessness and welfare programs. step away from the next grandiose federal program or the next blog or the next person who professes that they have the answer.
just...step away. for now....they don't matter. the politics and religions....don't matter.
what matters then? it's brutally cold here and in most of the country. it's snowing or about to snow again in alot of the areas of the country. for many people this is a matter of pure survival. what matters is saving the lives of men, women and children. what matters is the deep level of poverty and hunger that many americans feel...every day. these are not refugees from another country. these are men and women and children in your city....in your communitty.......people you see and pass every day. it's not a thousand miles away. it's a few blocks away. children matter. no mother should ever see their child go to bed hungry....wake up hungry....or worry about what they're going to feed them tomorrow. no child should ever wonder why they're different. no child should ever sit in a school and even think about why they don't have the things the other children do. no child....ever. a roof over your head and warmth at nite matters. compassion for our fellow human beings matters. local churches and missions matter. whether or not someone freezes to death tonite for no other reason than they're homeless and have no place to go...matters. that woman or man you saw sitting on the sidewalk or bench....they matter. the men and women who have made it their life's choice to help the poor and the homeless and the men, women and children......they matter. the children who can rise out of this poverty and become someone special and someone great.....they matter....more than anything else. being able to work and having an economy and city that affords the opportunity to work...that matters.
america....it was built on communities and local neighborhoods....helping and caring for each other...in good times and bad. that was our strength...our bond. helping each other still matters. taking care of our own neighborhoods and our own communities and cities still matter. and it is indeed the solution to the problem of hunger and poverty and homelessness. there is no other answer. the answer is what matters....you...and me. it's the american spirit of caring that matters. it hasn't changed. it hasn't been replaced by something else. it hasn't vanished...it's still in each and every one of us. if we slow down..and pause...we'll feel it. step away from everything..and listen. it's you and me...caring...helping... looking out for the ones that are weaker and in a more vulnerable posiiton than us...that's what matters. don't worry about another country...another state...another city. just those around you ....in your own community. people who were born there, went to school there, were raised there and are still there.
i know my life matters. and without the caring and compassion of many people i probably wouldn't be here today. take a minute...and think about. it. help someone, any way you can, anytime you can. if enough people did this.....there would be no poverty....no hunger....no homelessness.
see you around town