2.11.2009

Here is the rest of the story!!!!!!!!!!



Tonight I went to the bar and played my weekly night of poker. I didn't win and that's not even the point. About a month ago, I met this gentleman who was a lot older and was a successful business man. I was the young girl at the table as I normally am, and he was an elder. Throughout the night this man and I had some interesting conversations. At one point we started talking about the homeless, a subject I am very passionate about. A subject that I can promise, you don't want to debate about with me. Why? Because I will win. During this conversation the "elder" asked me what I would do if I had unlimited money to devote to the homeless.

I explained to him that I felt like homelessness wasn't just about drug addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill. I told him this was my passion and I believed that the problem was that we weren't helping these people from the inside out. I am not a naive girl! I realize that there are people out there that choose this life. But I also believe with all my  heart that there are also people out there that know, no other way. If you sleep on the streets and you get used to the lifestyle, a part of you starts to believe that this is you. Your self esteem gets depleted and in a lot of ways you get broke down. How is this any different than women that are abused? How is this any different than children that grow up in homes that are anything but healthy? I don't care if you are on drugs, a drunk or just mentally beat down. I believe that we all deserve a chance, and who are any of us to say if and when these people have blown through there chances. I told him that if I had unlimited money, I would help these people mentally. I wouldn't shave them, feed them, give them clean clothes and send them on there way. I would try and help them from the inside. To help them fill full and whole again. I am in no way a saint. But I can tell you that I have no right to throw stones, and those people are no better than you and I. That night the "elder" told me about how much money he had. About how I should come in there on Monday and "pitch" this to him. About how he had so much money and he could help. Bullshit, you are just some fucking guy in a bar. Some guy that has no idea where these people come from.

Fast Forward to tonight. I see the same guy. Do you think he remembers me? NO! Do you think he remembers our conversation? NO! 

So tonight me being the "young in" that I am. He again decides to go deep. I am so up for the challenge. He asks me what I think about the economy and what I think is going to happen to us as a country. 

This is what I told him. I am a 34 year old woman with a 14 year old son and I have never been so scared in my life. Everyday I feel the doom and gloom all around me and its eats me up inside. I still think of myself as a child and in these moments I feel more grown up then I ever have. Am I scared, hell yeah. How could I not be. But I am a devil's advocate kind of girl So for me the worst case scenario is a given. I tell him that I refuse to live in fear over this one topic. I tell him that I relate this to "little house on the prairie". They lived without electricity, they lived for each other off the land. NO, I am not a tree hugger. I too have taken more than I have needed just like the rest of us. But our worst case is what. Our worst case scenario is this. If things get really bad then as a country we start to combine efforts. Children move in with mom's, Grandmother's move in with Children. As a country we come together as a unit. We reach out and we help our neighbor. Bottom lime we will all get through this together. That is what America is about. We show our strength and our unity and no matter how bad it gets we give the next generation something to be proud of. Just like the generations before us. We find unity and this brings us closer, how can that be a bad thing in the end. After this conversation the "elder" tells me I should come work for him. What a joke! I tell him "you can't afford me" you don't even get it.

I believe in my hearts of heart that I am a good person. I don't know where I stand with God and in some ways that gives me an easy way out. It would be so easy to blame him for all that is wrong. The sad part of that is that the older I get I realize that all that is wrong, we have caused. What a sad revelation.

People get over yourself, we are all scared. If you are reading this thinking I am being dramatic, well than you are full of shit. I am just speaking what so many of us are afraid to voice. We are all scared. Its not about being scared its about how we deal with it. 

Sorry to be soooooooo blah. But as Christina says " life isn't all peace, love and unicorns".

8 comments:

Jules said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. That's one of the frustrating things about being a teacher. I'm there to teach the subjects when I see that so many of these kids need so much more. I can only do so much because I am one person and there is so much need. I ban together the resources I can but some of the people in this world are truly screwing up the next generation (depletion of love, angry kids, etc). Not that we can't fix it or that we can't do our part.... but, it's a very large problem out there. And we NEED to join forces.

Nicey said...

Absolutly hun youve gotta say it as it is and stay strong to look after yourself coz no one else will
Laters
Nicey

Ken said...

Well let me tell you something young lady. As much as I thought of you up to this point...... well you can double that. What you said about the homeless is right on the head. You know that they are very close to me and that my very best friend was homeless up in tell the day he died. I worked with the homeless and still do from time to time. It is nice to hear some one that gets it!

Bass Ackwords said...

Human beans can git used to almost anythin'..includin' livin' under a bridge or a cardyboard box. Them people is hollered out and livin' moment to moment...they got no expectations.

Twenty years ago when the Guverment decided to toss the mentally ill out on the streets they figured that the organisations would come to rescue..they call that off-loadin'.
Trouble is it never happened, cause streetfolk ain't cute N cuddly like Puppies or Orphans.

Y'er a good egg and I believe that you will make a difrence cause you got a fire in y'er belly.

By the way I figur that feller in the bar is full of sh*t and it's time to call his bluff.

NucMEd is Hot said...

And here I thought you were just all cotton candy and fun. Who knew!

Thank you for putting the old guy in his place and next time, take his money while your at it, they hate that!

Greg du Pille said...

Wow! Strong post! It's so nice to read someone who can so succinctly express their feelings like you are able to do. I'm also impressed by your passion, insight and compassion for the homeless.

As an old guy who too does sometimes play Hold'em, I can't but feel a tad sorry for the old guy in your story. Perhaps he was just boasting about helping, or trying to impress you, but we oldies do have bad memories and some of us are even genuine, too.

Jormengrund said...

Awesome post JAG.

Did you know that for every person who professes to have enough money to help out the homeless, less than .01% of them WILL actually help?

Sad, but true.

The rich like to keep themselves that way, and when it comes down to helping their fellow man, the only thing that they're willing to give is their words and platitudes.

Personally, I'm not one that donates cash. I've given homeless folks asking for money for food a ride to my house, then bathed, clothed, and fed them. I've offered them work in exchange for a room, and I've given them help in finding a job they can keep down.

However, there are those who just want to quick buck, and don't want the help to help themselves. These folks are truly the ones that need help the most, but I'm not one to know where to start.

See you on the 24th when I get back from vacation!

Greg du Pille said...

Jormengrund

I think what you said might be true to a degree, but that perhaps you should not be overly cynical about the generosity or otherwise of people when they are in a position to help strangers.

Sure, it is easy to assume that everyone else is going to be, by default, selfish, but in my experience that is not always so. I think there is a danger of ascribing higher values to our own group and baser ones to all the people we do not know.

I know that where I can and when I think it apt, I will help, sometimes to my own (considerable) financial cost. Where I have been unable to, others have stepped in.

It is easy to assume that when you lose your wallet, that it will never be handed in intact. Many times it won't be, but thankfully that is often not true . That, at least, has been my experience, and I have handed in many myself.

Short-term selfish gain seldom makes you feel better afterwards and some of us at least act on what we think is right, not what would be the selfish thing to do. And we don't have to be religious to do so.

So don't be too dismissive of those older people able to help. Sometimes they really do!