Apr 26, 2011

21 I Often Wonder

question When I encounter someone homeless, dirty, reeking of vomit, filth and piss with a seemingly obliviousness to the people skittering to avoid them with faces cringed in disgust and contempt I often wonder what happened? What was the turning point that allowed this person to spiral so out of control that they descend completely into helplessness? What were the internal beliefs that continually looped in their psyche that ultimately hypnotized their mind, body and spirit that lead to the downward spiral into destitution? Where, when and why that toxic kernel of belief seeped so insidiously deep into their core that it dissipated their hope causing them to surrender their faith and give up on their selves.


I wonder when they were children what their dreams were. When and why did dreams get derailed? What prevented them from re-inventing their selves creating new dreams? No one grows up thinking… ‘I am going to be a bum on the street’, ‘I am going to walk the street in a drunken stupor’, or ‘I am going to wonder the streets reeking of shit to scare people away in disgust’. What happened to all that promise and possibility?

Some of my friends say I do too much thinking and that it is their choice that they are where they are. Now while there may be a sliver of truth to that, things are seldom that cut and dry and the truth is it does not make me any less compassionate, curious, concerned or sad. No one deserves to be in that ugly place and frankly it is hurtful to see them there. Every time I encounter someone in this position I say a prayer in that moment asking the Divine to deliver them out of whatever hell they may be in, to free them so that they can realize their greatness. Does that make me crazy? This is somebody’s child, brother, sister, father, cousin, uncle, aunt and we have no right to stand and presumptuously judge who we think they are and why they are in the position they are in. It is easy to think, it can never happen to us or any of our loved ones but who is to say what would be the thing that ‘God forbid’ break you and send you, your child, your mother, your father, or your sister over the edge?

It is said that there is a fine line between sanity and insanity and every day we walk that fine line. Do I have an ultimate solution to the loss souls situation, no I do not, all I am saying is apart from the initial spontaneous reaction to the foul smell we all should not allow temporary disgust from the smell lead us into harsh judgments and condemnation because the truth is, we don’t know and assumptions are not facts.

My Point to this piece?

We must be mindful of what we think of others and stop ourselves in the midst of judgments because while we may not be able to heal them we can certainly work at not contaminating our minds and spirit by casting aspersions on others for which we know nothing.

21 comments:

  1. I totally agree with youAnd don’t listen to your friends ~ you are very compassioateGod bless you

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  2. A true story from my mum. A woman (my aunt’s friend’s aunt) works as a maid at my neighbour house, she got raped by her master and then she gave birth a retarded baby, the baby died not long after. During her work time, he used metalware hit on her head and caused her mental disordered. Due to all these courses, most of master’s children died at young age except one of his son is still alive unfortunately he got IQ problem. Is this retribution?Everytime I see someone homeless, dirty, collecting tin and staying in simple and crude wooden room. What’s the story behind of them? I wonder why.

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  3. So easy to judge. Great post. Read interview with street-based homeless and they remarked one thing they really disliked is no one greets/speaks their name. This prompted me to get brave and meet a few street-based in neighbourhood. Two have moved on but that distance broken when name offered. I am aware of my safety issues but it was a step to personalize issue.

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  4. i agree with you.. what’s the expression ‘ but for the grace of god go i?’no we have no idea what and can and may happen to us ~~

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  5. I am working with these poor people. Sometimes they come in good condition, sometimes in very bad. But all of them are very nice people. They love to talk, they love to share their life stories, they seek for social contact. Some admit their mistakes and weakness. Everyone has its own story. Story which could be changed or not. Most of them have big potential but usually need lots of financial and even more psychological support. Few overcome their difficulties. What I learned is that is no guarantee. Life can quickly change. And I’m concerned about increasing number of aimless young people.Hug,T

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  6. As always I get compassion and thoughtfullness when I visit here my friend. Slivers of truth are mostly what we get and you look deeper than that surface. We make our choices and take our chances and judge others accordingly and unknowing of their challenges. Thank you once again for snapping me back into thinking about things I tend to avoid. Hugs from me in Alaska

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  7. Thin threads Fab, thin threads.

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  8. Amen to that, great post, Rap! Another excellent reason we should not rush to "harsh judgments and condemnation because the truth is," . . . "There, but for the grace of God, go I (or us, or you or anyone)."Everything we have can be gone in the blink of an eye, ask the Katrina survivors. It is all "here today, gone tomorrow" – literally. Not many people think about that as they turn their noses up at the homeless and downtrodden. We need more compassion and understanding in our society.

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  9. Right on. Can’t judge without knowing the whole story. In India, beggars are even "made" – children/adults kidnapped, injured, and intimidated by criminal elements to beg and turn in the money. Some who lose money and beg at some point get used to the easy money – they then start hitting the tourist/temple circuit to get the moolah for their hotel meals!

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  10. People create the homeless society, throwing the beggars a dime may salvage ones own conscious but it does nothing to ending the problem. In a country where 1% of the population owns 90% of the wealth maybe ‘redistribution’ is the answer – that sounds more a proactive christian action, certainly better than a prayer!

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  11. There are many homeless/street people here in Detroit. Many of our homeless are mentally ill and have nowhere to live. I’ve also found that there are some homeless people who have family, but who will not stay at home because of their mental illness. I really hate to encounter people who are in want/need. When I’m driving and see a homeless person sitting at the corner with a cup and a sign, I usually give them money…even if they look like an addict.

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  12. Just a coincidence, once again. You be seeing what I be thinking.

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  13. You have so much compassion. I get scared easy of people like that as Im not used to it. I have thought alot about this I can tell you that.
    Blessings.

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  14. thats a very nice topic u brought up, n its true. in my life i've trained myself to never look down on anyone cos we're all humans. but good that with this post many more can realize this

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  15. I totally agree with you on this. I often wonder the same as you and when I can't help immediately, I send out a prayer.

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  16. Right on sister!! I love this post!!!

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  17. This was one of the best posts I have read. Partly because I think in a similar fashion. Thank you for it. It may cause others to reconsider harshness when observing those who have lost it all.

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  18. Exactly! I've thought about this too. I think it's a combination of many things that led them there, and a lot of it probably not their fault. It takes a lot of will power and a support system of people who love you to get out of a funk, so it's not easy oh. Let's not judge when we don't know all the info

    Adiya

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  19. I think too many of them and some homeless are very younger age because they have had a quarrel with their parents..then became homeless.The other day one of boy slept in the industrial rubbish bin and early in the morning the rubish bin mancome to collect the rubish bin into the truck there big cry form rubish bin …he was lucky to the mans stopped the machine LOL!I think all over the world are having a troubled with homeless.Great Post!Have a nice weekend.

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  20. A very good post. In my big city there are quite a lot of homeless people. Two of them I know for sure are ‘Nam veterans. One wears fatigues, coat and hat all summer long. Then there is an old lady that goe in the car wash every now and then to get cleaned off a bit I imagine. Yes, I wonder about these people.

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  21. We are all just a paycheck or two from being homeless.. others are closer. That`s why I never say 'That will never happen to me... I`ll never be like that... etc'
    Your entry reminds me of the importance of being nice to everyone we meet because we truly may not know what kind of battles they are fighting in this game of life.

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