Practicalities….

So far I have applied for 5 jobs today. Pretty sure I won’t hear back from them but I will keep trying anyway. I’m not concerned about Christmas, haven’t been for the last six years. Not for any particular belief sytem but because of monetary practicalities. Rather than spend money on gifts or wrapping paper, keeping the gas tank filled and the engine running were more important. When I had my old Minnie Winnebago, propane was at a premium to keep us warm in the winter and yes, sometimes it took all the cash I had.The only thing different this year is that I now have a mini-van that still needs a tune-up and probably an oil change.

My teen joined the girl’s wrestling team, the first time she’s participated in a school sport but it didn’t occur to her that there were costs involved like the $20.00 for the shoes they wear and another $96.00 fee required by the school. She’s only been doing the sport for about 3 weeks now and yesterday she tried to hide the fact that she was crying about it. Every year she wants to join something, a sport or a music class but can’t because there is no money for it. The only thing she asked me for if I had the money, was a gift card to a book store.

My 7-year old didn’t ask for much either since the concept of why people celebrate holidays is still new to her. She knows we can’t tote toys around with us. What she wants is her own room.

In many ways, the holidays are a constant reminder to us of how far we have fallen. No matter how well intended the comments or well wishes are, I am still unemployed. We are still homeless. Why would I need another reminder of that?

The current economic crisis in the country I live in is the problem. We can all sit around and debate with politicians about it but what is actually getting done? The private sector cannot absorb or fix poverty on it’s own. The industrial elite caused the problem, the industrial elite must fix it instead of profiting on the blood, sweat and tears of the working class.

People spend money on gifts of “stuff” instead of using that money to get a homeless parent off the street during winter. There’s not enough shelters to provide sanctuary in freezing temperatures so those not able to find one…die. Suicide or drug addiction for our youth is the only way they see out of an already desperate life when their parents can’t find a job or provide stability.

Here is my challenge to self-proclaimed do-gooders. I challenge you to take the money you would ordinarily spend on “stuff” and donate it to a local shelter or safe house for battered women and abused children. Create a network that will provide safe and secure childcare for working parents who can’t keep a job if their kids have nowhere to go. Volunteer or create a soup kitchen if such places don’t exist in your town. Buy hand warmers or gear and bring it to tent cities to help ward off hypothermia and frostbite to its residents. If you are a lawyer, doctor or nurse, donate your time and services to those who otherwise could not afford to pay you. Educate yourself on the truth about homelessness and the people who landed there. I suspect that it the long term, it isn’t facts that will impress you, just what you will learn about yourself.

On a grand scale there is this to consider. If you refuse to invest your resources in feeding big businesses, they can’t feed politicians. What happens when the people invest in people? When the profit margin is affected, only then will policy makers listen….

Tired Eyes

I can’t cry anymore since

The trail my tears once travelled on

Has begun to disappear

 

Funny how the universe has a sense of irony

Playing tricks on hearts and minds by

Placing them on opposing sides

 

The gods of Chaos now reign supreme

Fathering the pains of uncertainty

Using the kings of industry

 

Twins from hell, Want and Poverty

Follow the sirens of false prosperity

Spreading seeds of broken dreams

 

Out of nightmares caused by the spawn of Greed

I see the beginnings of a new prophecy

Warriors born of necessity

 

Mother’s pain like shattered glass

Ghetto child feels lack of social economic class

Champions of coup-de-grace

 

This is the womb I was conceived in

Don’t know the tenderness of believed in

Because the prayers I was taught were deceiving

 

Daughters of mine a hard upbringing

Tough like diamond’s enduring beauty

See how they come up swinging

 

New day coming brought by those who

Paid the price for Wall Street fools and

They look just like me and you

 

Time to let my spirit rise so

Don’t pity me or patronize my

Tired eyes

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About invisibull

Let's see now, what should I say on here to make people think I'm more interesting than I actually am...I'm a single mother of two with a passion for helping others less fortunate than myself. I like to write, finished a book and am working on another. Other than that I live a real-life video game where the goal is to get out of homelessness and provide a better future for my kids. Peace!
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12 Responses to Practicalities….

  1. As always, a superbly written piece Indy.

    As a self-proclaimed do-gooder, and homeless myself, I tried to make a donation to a shelter, only to be told that because I’m homeless it’s not possible for them to accept my cash.

    I was a bit taken aback, it was only $5, so I got around it by donating clothing I bought at a thrift store when I stopped in the next time, and nobody saw me leave it.

    It’s not worth fighting about, because I also get a chance to assist my comrades in the streets through #wearevisible and by being the character that I am.

    I trust that if there’s something I can give you other than my words, you’ll send me a private msg you know how to get ahold of me.

    Lost Awareness

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Practicalities…. | Invisibull's Blog -- Topsy.com

  3. Indy says:

    Bravo Lost Awareness! As I tell folks, all efforts add up and when an obstacle presented itself, you found a way around it! Now that’s some dedication to doing good!

  4. patridew says:

    Dear Indy,
    I am living in far-away Bangkok, but I have readers in America and Canada. Would it be okay if I reposted your blogs from time to time, listing you as a guest writer?

  5. Ellie Ottey says:

    Indy – please contact me when you can.
    Ellie

  6. Jose_X says:

    The last comment hasn’t posted yet, but that might be due to moderation. Assuming it went through OK, I want to add a bit of an apology.

    I got carried away with the hope of addressing homelessness and that you are helping people out just by writing about it. The way I came across then was of focused on that topic and not your personal needs. I’m sorry. I was a bit presumptuous I suppose. And leaving my email without offering very much added to that.

    Anyway, I have some programming and other skills, and do not mind chatting now and then if you happen to think we can do some business, meaning if you think I can be of service to others. At least you can ask.

    Hope you continue to have access to the Internet. That’s a very important tool.

    Also, I read over your blog posting about the tent city in Seattle. I find it so unacceptable that with so many people who made so much money near that area (eg, from Microsoft), that finding a plot of land would be such a problem.

    In case those folks haven’t heard about them, consider spreading the word about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ask the Foundation if they will do the obvious good thing and buy a piece of property for those people (a few acres?) and let the group manage things. Not sure how to set up ownership, but no one there should have to pay rent to pitch their small tents, at least for a while. Heavens knows that Bill Gates and many of the others have avoided paying many *billions* in taxes by moving the money over from private stock holdings into a non-profit organization (which now earns interest off our government and continues to buy stock supported by markets enabled because of our government). And Microsoft also has saved lots of taxes that would have gone to Washington state.

  7. Jose_X says:

    [Apparently, this long comment did not submit properly earlier, so I rewrote parts of it and submitted it again in shorter pieces.]

    Hello Indy. I want to relieve some frustration over the homeless situation in the US and rant a bit. Justice is really coming up short and some with a real ability to help are holding back.

    >> What happens when the people invest in people?

    I agree. We should be feeding independent and small to medium firms, in particular, those who put humility and community above profits. We reap what we sow, and we have been tending to the greediest (deceptively beautiful) weeds in lieu of the rest of the garden. We should not be surprised the garden is failing.

    As you suggested, we shouldn’t expect the weeds (large corporations) to give up their position to help the rest of the garden, especially when they work so hard to place themselves into that position.

    Instead, if we, as private citizens, were to invest in those who value society or who at least aren’t already large, we would help, amongst ourselves, distributes wealth, power, leverage, etc, so we end up with greater representation in government. Investing means giving money to buy goods and services, but it also means creating things of value (eg, on a volunteer basis) when no market (yet) exists.

    As a starting point, we do need land accessible to those who need it. With land, people can start to work from that base. They have room to work. They have room to plan and to create. They have a space to rest, so they can keep working day in and out. Without land or a good shot at owning land, self-sufficiency and crawling out of a hole is a joke. The American Dream is dead for those people. And justice is already falling short for all but the wealthiest. [Homeless, for example, survive because the government and some non-profits do help here and there.. eg, with housing subsidy in a few cases.]

    We still live in a nation “of the people” yet with laws that give the most to the already wealthy minority. These are the people that can get justice in courts, who use the costly military, police force, and court system to preserve their huge volume of assets. Who lobby for special laws and access, in particular, to largely control and gain exclusive profits from limited public resources without paying fair price. [Control of communications air-waves and pollution of land, air, and sea are but two examples.] And these groups are skimping out quite a bit in paying society back.

    The private sector (including individuals and non-profits) can surely help end homelessness so that everyone has something resembling a home, but the government is most certainly failing and is the collective will of the people that should address this huge challenge. The government of the people started out with loads of land (and can acquire more if needed), yet ignores the real land needs of its people.

  8. Jose_X says:

    (cont)

    [Now, I will get into some thoughts I have been tossing around of late…]

    We are still somewhat stuck in an old tradition of major land-owners and “peasants” even though thankfully a lot of people do own property. This control over land revenues is at the root of keeping power in concentrated hands. Those with know-how, connections, spare wealth, etc, are the “aristocracy”.

    Land to live should be a right. Other land can then be leased from “the people” as long as the business or person paying for the opportunity to profit is a good steward of the land. In other words, we have enough land in this nation to enable every citizen to get a share (such rights might be used to get a significant eternal subsidy on “rent” in a city, for example). And another fraction of the land would be sold or leased to private citizens in order to enable business, but this land use would come with more limitations. The business (as it seeks out profits) would obviously recognize they are a part of a whole and have responsibilities and debts.

    Our government has the ability to do this, but the voting public is not thinking sufficiently along these lines of safeguarding each other and making sure we all have the minimums needed to lead a healthy productive life.

    Is a private lot of land to live a Constitutional right of each individual? Maybe, but probably not; however, it is supported by the Constitution.

    This “Union” called the US of A was created importantly to “promote the general welfare” of its people. From the Federalist Papers (no. 45) “It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object.” [ http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed45.asp .. btw, I just came across this on Google. I am not a Constitutional scholar.]

    As we can argue, a fair tract of land is necessary to have a shot at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  9. Jose_X says:

    (cont)

    Now, to get back to the private sector and the voter..

    There is a lot of cynicism in society and understandably so. Most places lack transparency. Without transparency, people get hoodwinked. It’s easy to distrust what seems surreal (eg, is Indy for real?). Many will lie to make the good look bad and the bad look good. One reason we are failing here is because money buys communication, and our government (our people) are not doing enough to combat the biases towards the very wealthy.

    A lack of transparency of sorts also leads to many failures to accurately see conditions for what they are.

    As an example, it’s easy to be critical of a homeless person and what you may see them doing (or not doing) without realizing at least two things:

    (a) every human needs to have rest and be weak to an extent in order to be able to focus;

    (b) we all use many many aids and have accumulated many more from years past, yet we conveniently not account for all of that help and leverage relative to other people.

    (a) is an important reason ultimately many people will call a homeless person lazy and many other things when they publicly see them apparently being so. I suppose it’s a good thing most people don’t have a public camera on them 24×7 (especially during our worst moments).

    (b) is what allows us to put unrealistic super-human standards on others because we fail to recognize just how easy things are for us in a number of ways (eg, having a home, having a work or educational track record, having connections, having a job and/or savings, having know-how, etc). This is the “we take for granted what we are accustomed to having” weakness of human kind.

  10. Jose_X says:

    (cont)

    I was “voluntarily” homeless for almost a year in the 90s. Though I lived in a city where I had my basics under control to a large degree (and being a single young male makes it much easier than can be for others), I was surprise by how difficult it can be to get out of that situation. In particular, I got a small taste of “discrimination” those who have been away from the workforce for a while, are older, etc, have to deal with in order to make money in order to find stable home. For me moving among shelters was fine at that point in my life (and I had an alternative in another city), but the handicap the homeless face offers a huge barrier to getting out of that hole. And many that do, do so only because of government help (eg, section 8 for those that get it).

    I know this comment is quite long, but allow me a little more…

    We need to call out all the ways the wealthy are not paying their dues to society.

    We need to realize what is going on and demand basic support underneath all of our feet.

    We need to end the extreme leverage the very wealthy have over the rest of us. Even when we might want to, we are too busy fighting for our own hides (and future) to have much time and money to consider others’ problems.

    Community service or other job in exchange for basic but guaranteed land/living rights seems overdue.

  11. Jose_X says:

    (cont)

    FWIW, I was drawn to your blogging after reading what_its_like_to_be_a_homeless_mother from change.org and your comments within.

    PS: If you get a chance, take a look at the discussion about copyright at the website sitasingstheblues.com and at questioncopyright.org. Nina made over $100,000 in the first year after releasing that animation. That was several times the amount that publishers had told her she could make in maybe 10 years if she had kept copyright locked up. Fortunately, she didn’t take that advice and removed most copyright restrictions so to encourage and empower others to share and utilize her work for their own gain. I mention this because I think I read that you stated something about registering a copyright. Just for the record: copyright in the US is automatic. You only need to register in order to seek damages (I think). I mentioned Nina Paley to give but one example of many many people who take an open approach to sharing their art, music, literary works, software, etc and find great success and personal satisfaction. Monopolies on “intellectual products” is a very anti-social (and at least somewhat arrogant) concept. We don’t need heavy-handed monopolies on thought to make money nor to get credit and other value. These monopoly creation laws are an example of ways that those with money, access, leverage, business skills, etc, manage to make even more money off the work of others. They secure rights that no one should have been given in the first place. The Internet is helping to re-balance the game, however. .. Please keep writing if you continue to find the motivation since you are documenting an experience most of us don’t understand.

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