I usually alternate between my “50 Things I’ve Learned” posts, some poetry, amateur photography and the occasional reblog.
Today is different.
Today I feel the need to simply vent about something that is bothering me and express what is on my mind. I can’t move forward until I do.
I stumbled upon a blogger named Jorge who is desperate for funding in order to keep himself and his seven year old daughter from being homeless. I know it is hard to believe that there is not a support system in place in the U.S.A. that will make sure this doesn’t happen, but apparently there are voids in the system. He lives in a small town in Kansas. He has approached social services many times and has been told that he only qualifies for food assistance and medicare for his daughter. He qualifies for $225 per month to live on. From what I read on his blog, he has been on an extremely frustrating job search for months. As his savings have run dry, he faces the prospect of the streets with his daughter. For this reason, he has resorted to reaching out to total strangers for help for daily survival as he continues his search. He served in the military but was discharged because he did not have a sufficient family plan in place that would secure his daughter’s well being if something were to happen to him. He has knocked on many doors for help and he has been turned down.
This is the story. This is the story that I choose to believe based on the consistent information provided in his blog, his responses to questions that others have asked and on my OWN intuition that I have great trust in.
It is HIS story and there are so many other stories like his. We always have the choice to believe them or not. We always have the choice of acting on them or not. We are privileged to have the option to make a difference in someone’s life. There are some things that we will never be 100 percent sure of. Does this mean that we should turn the other way?
What I am struggling with is humanity in general, the lack of human spirit and the fear of taking risks on others. I am surprised by the overall distrust and lack of response to someone’s pleas for help when they are really not asking for much. It’s made me even question my own judgement when I feel like the extreme minority willing to help in a VERY small way. Then I remember who I am, who I’ve always striven to be and think…..NO, this is right. This is right for ME. Whether I am naive in giving or not, It just baffles me that there are not more people like me. Where is everybody? Did I land on Planet “I Don’t Give a Shit!” If so, I’m looking for the next shuttle out.
You can hear the frustration in Jorge’s posts. He has been faulted often for the way he presents his dilemma and others do have the right to their opinion seeing that he has opened himself up to be scrutinized. Yes, maybe Jorge’s strength is not in how he writes. Maybe he sounds ungrateful as he talks about the lack of donations he has received. I am sure there is more to Jorge than we can surmise from his blog. I am sure there is more that is just none of our business. He has already forfeited his dignity and many details of his circumstances. It is my belief, however, that when we truly give from the heart, we may never know all the details. We may not know for sure. Knowing would be easy. Giving when you know for sure you have nothing to lose , is easy. The biggest gift you can give is one that leaves you without something. Maybe that “something” is certainty. Maybe we are not to know for sure when we truly give.
Can the homeless man on the street prove to you that he is there based on a string of bad luck or lack of assistance for a mental disorder? We can walk away because we assume he is there based on his own demise or we can simply give him a few dollars we’d probably not even miss to get him through another day. Yes, maybe he’s an alcoholic. Some live in houses and some live on the street. The only difference is that the ones in houses have the means to stay there……for now.
There is a point where someone BECOMES homeless. Their resources become depleted. They may have additional stresses that catapult the downward spiral. They may have family that cannot or will not help. They may not have any family at all. They may be inflicted by a mental illness. One of three of us will experience this in our lifetime. Take a good look at what is available for help in this area. It is a crime.
I ask of you to look within your heart, not your mind. Free yourself of doubt and greed….and simply give. You don’t have to donate to Jorge. You don’t have to help out Sherry in Florida, who is also struggling . You can help the next person you see on the street, the one you are not sure of. It is your own risk to take. Think of what you could lose.
Then think about what you could gain.