Can you write about other stuff besides homelessness?
I was recently asked this and once again I knew it was somebody else’s expression of being uncomfortable with the subject. My answer to this question is: Of course I can but what other subject is so pertinent right now?
I could care less who was at your dinner party or what kind of car you drive. I don’t care what you do for a living and what tax bracket you’re in. I don’t need to know what exotic place you went to on vacation. Who cares what private school you sent your kids to or how big your house is.
Here’s what I want to know: What did you do today to make someone’s life a little more bearable? What words of comfort did you offer to someone who is in a lot of pain? How much of your time is spent volunteering to be a good Samaritan? Do you really need that expensive cup of coffee when there’s a mother standing nearby with a cardboard sign begging for money to feed her kids? Do you really need that designer pair of heels when there are kids out there who need warm clothes for the winter?
Do you think complaining about your day compares to families out on the street looking for a safe place to sleep at night? Does bitching about what you don’t have the same as knowing that without health insurance and a safe place to rest, you will die of cancer in your car because there is no place else to go? How come you’re not helping that family member by offering to babysit so they can keep their job when all you’re doing is hanging out at the golf course for hours on end?
You see there is a disease that is so common in the world yet its victims aren’t even aware that they’re infected. It’s called Ass-ism and it’s symptoms are ass-like. Here’s some examples:
“It’s not my problem you’re homeless.”
“They didn’t manage their money right.”
“I got my own problems to worry about.”
“Somebody else will take care of it.”
“I just don’t have the money to help anybody” – Then you see this person buying a $5.00 latte and getting into a new car
“Well, the best thing for homeless people to do is to give up their kids until they get their lives straight.”
“I don’t feel sorry for the bums I see out in the street. If they’re a drug addict or a drunk, they deserve to be there.”
“I don’t want those tent cities in my backyard. My kids don’t need to see that.”
If you run across people displaying ass-like symptoms, be careful around them so that you too won’t be infected. It is highly contagious and difficult to cure. Most are in denial of the disease but it is rapidly on the rise.
Gone are the days that I allow careless comments about my situation to go unanswered. Gone is the time wasted on pretending to everyone that we’re not in hell. Gone is my attitude that I am to blame for this. Gone is the attitude yours will be after I educate you on the facts of how I got here. Gone will be your excuses for turning a blind eye to your responsibility to us for letting us fall through the cracks.
We are all around you and homelessness recruits new members every day. It is time you see us. It is time you heard us. It is time to stop criminalizing us. It is time for YOU to get involved.