I don’t talk too much about local issues here on this blog (I’d rather entertain) but an issue came up that has plagued our area in various ways that has gotten me thinking.
Kym Kemp posted a blog post about the homeless issue in Humboldt County. I have to say that I was surprised to see the vocal anger against the homeless here.
Kym and I don’t see eye to eye on many issues, but I am always grateful when she posts about things like this.
I commented (it was long too) but felt I needed to blog about it too since the issue was still in my mind.
Until I met The Redneck, I was someone who stood on the sidelines/behind the window/avoided eye contact when it came to those who beg on the streets. I wanted to help. It’s in my nature to want to reach out and give to those who need help. But “wanting” and “doing” are vastly different. Fear of getting involved, fear of being taken advantage of and fear of bodily harm kept me firmly in the “wanting” category. Oh, sometimes I threw money in the direction of some cause and that assuaged some of the guilt, but the truth is I did very little.
Then, The Redneck entered my life. He was definitely in the “doing” category. If he saw someone in need, he did something about it. He’s given sleeping bags and coats to those who looked cold. He’s fed the hungry. He’s reached out to those who would scare the shit out of me. On Thanksgiving last year, he took a cooked turkey and fixings to a group of people under the bridge in Fortuna. I don’t tell you this because The Redneck needs some award, but because I admire him so much for it. He’s changed me from “wanting” to “doing”. We’re on the front lines trying to help those who need it, trying to make the world a brighter place for those who can’t get their head above water.
But those who are angry, frustrated and disgusted with the homeless we see here are also understandable. It is the most difficult thing to be someone who tries desperately to follow the rules, do the best for their kids, make a mortgage/rent payment every month and see others who seem to thumb their nose at those things. (And frankly, it doesn’t matter if they’re homeless or rich.) I imagine that there would be a similar kind of anger toward CEOs who get million dollar bonuses while their employees are laid off.
I think it’s safe to say that there is a lot of anger out there. I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit embattled most of the time. Yet, I can say one thing. I am luckier than most.
Here’s the thing. The guy who gets away with being a slacker, talks other people down and still manages to snow the company into giving him a truck has an alcoholic wife. The chick who routinely bags volunteering for her son’s football team and acts like she’s better than anyone else has no friends that I can see and no one will be there when the shit hits the fan for her.
Karma. It’s all about Karma.
I don’t do nice things for others because I want to “save them”. I do the RIGHT thing because I want to look myself in the mirror at night.
Some of the comments on Kym’s blog were a little scary to me. I understand the anger, the frustration, the seething desperation some of those comments come from. But I pray the emotions behind them don’t boil over into action.
And I wish one commenter would quit speaking of himself in the third person. It’s kind of weird.
Edited to Add: And just as I wrote this, Kym reported this.