I'm starting to lose count of the well-intentioned people who often approach me expressing their sorrow and concerns about the state of homelessness.
These are the people who have tucked away homelessness in their thoughts much the same way as one might do seasonal linens. The answers to the problem of homelessness and many other issues of the world lies in their multitasking frame of reference for them to tuck between commitments.
Their sympathy is not only misplaced, but stagnating.
Their lack of experience regarding homelessness is revealing in their well-chosen speech as they try to empathize with my plight. Their depth of understanding is limited to the latest journal article or an encounter they may have had years gap with a homeless individual.
It becomes obvious that they are not the agents of social change as they refer me to the churches, ministers. Agencies or some other group or individual they have used as a go to on these occasions.
They have little foresight despite living in the sanitized world of safety that most inhabit, homelessness is a phenomenon in our world that even the most well-meaning citizen is far removed.
I thought I would gag the other day when someone casually apologized using a phrase that I had little idea has already become hackneyed and cliché. After admitting that she had fit me in between engagements, she suddenly became self-conscious about discussing what she referred to as her first world experience. We parted ways with her promising that we would do this again with much the same feelings of a bridge club meeting.
Homelessness is a raw, filthy, unpredictable business which can only be handled by those who have the stamina and guts to confront its issues. A commitment takes time, money and a willingness to be self- effacing. Unless one is well armed for this fight it would be best to as one might say in a third world setting “shit or get off the pot.”