“Should it be a crime to be homeless”…?
Here’s an article/debate about this subject: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/562579.stm
Â I was at Change of Heart weekend and am always amazed by how hard Michele and Ann work to make this happen..this was the 5th annual. This time, I got to contribute some articles/icebreakers,etc with the COH team and help with some ideas, planning. I felt so grateful to be a part of this…and would have stayed whole weekend but wasn’t prepared to and had some other commitments. But when I was at workshops, I wasÂ regretting my choice notÂ to stay over and be a part of this COH community. But I know that there are no accidents…because there is still so much I took in, learned regardless…
There was some talk via speakers, workshops this last weekend about some advantages to being homeless for some…the simplicity of life that is created. And my mind started churning…in some ways, it would be so uncomplicated to have all you own on your back…instead of the complicated life that many of us get used to…the dvds, cds, cell phones, computers, Ipods/mp3 players,Â mortgages, and calendars full of work and play activities…
I don’t know about you, but I get somewhat lost in how accelerated things can get…sometimes it is hard to keep up. And remember the visuals of a rat or mouse on a wheel…? Yep, looks familiar.
Going on service vacations to India, South Africa has actually been a saving grace for me…to be taken out of this sometimes manic world in America for just aÂ little bit of time. I can see how living in poverty can offer some peace at times…Where do we find peace in the working world…on the trafficky streets of LA, Orange County, and other major cities? By going to multiplexes and doing everything and anything to go inside and not be part of the natural world around us?
We need the earth and its resources, but what about the new and improved mindset…that the Earth may actually need us…
To do what?
-To recognize all her people and and give gifts…even a smile, kind word, a poem, a hug, a genuine look of appreciation
-To never dehumanize anyone or anything…whether it be a child, an animal, a woman, aÂ Â man, a homeless person, a mentally disabled person, a prisoner
-To make use of the vegetables, fruits and foods of our land and try our hardest not to waste and give of what we don’t need…including clothes and housewares
-To recycle, re-use, take care of any natural beauty we’d like to see remain
-To find some pleasure and play in the fields, beaches, deserts, mountains around us…and give thanks for all we have…even if it’s not a watch, a home, a car
And now back to…”should it be a crime to be homeless?”…as stated throughout the weekend…any of us could be homeless in a split second. This hit me a bit at the time mentioned…because there were some close times growing up…helping push my mom’s car, which wouldn’t start through a traffic light on a Thursday night, having our lights go out because of the electric bill not paid, having to move to three different houses in high school because of the struggle that almost every single mom has…including my own mom…a beautiful, gifted individual who had seemingly every bad luck scenarioÂ confront her during a certain phase of our lives…
Things happen in life unexpected….this is the way, the tao of living. Everyone can experience troubling times…whether they be the poorest of the poor or the most wealthy…
The key is to be grateful of wherever u are….and at the end of COH weekend, some of us continued on and helped pass out blankets, food to some homeless individuals who are now my friends. Like one of the volunteers stated, “I like making new friends.” One thought to ponder, if you knew your friend, family member had no home, no clothes except the clothes on his or her back…what would you do? Now a thought…how about adding another new year’s resolution to your list…
To strive to be a friend to the earth: all people, all animals, all creation…join me?
You make a great point, there is no reason for us to become homeless ourselves in order to 1) identify a problem and 2) demand that a course of action take place to simply recognize that it is a growing problem. Ther are numerous factors that add to homelessness. There are things in our realm of control such as compassion and support for causes to slowly eliminate homelessness in your local area. If we all took to time to place ourselves in that unwanted position perhaps then we can chisel away at the problems which have created homelessness for many.
obviously, it should not be a crime to be homeless. But, I do like the idea of the police taking the people to the shelters, it just sucks that it is against their will. Why don’t the mayor enforce some rent control or make some changes so that the millions might have better psycological health by reducing pollution or something.
In the US we brag about our liberties, but we found out that you can be arrested for having a backpack and sitting on a park bench in Long Beach.