Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saint Basil

Poverty for the sake of poverty is meaningless, according to Saint Basil, so how is it that we are wholeheartedly accepting the spread of poverty through out the U.S.A.?  Why is poverty, but not gross wealth, stigmatized?  If I were to go door to door and take a survey of what the community thought about offering shelter, food and clothing to the homeless, how many of them would be in support of using tax dollars to extend services to homeless?  It seems entirely doable, what with all of the empty real estate in Austin, TX.  We have 49 million Americans living in poverty.  How can it be deemed as a service to society to be waging war on citizens?  Poverty and its causes are a disease to society and punishing the homeless is, per se, killing the messenger.  I watched a cop this evening write a ticket to this perfectly peaceable homeless man who is always polite and doesn't bug anyone.  I am happy to offer them money when I have it and why wouldn't I be?  I was told by a friend once how people have to be able to ask for help in order to succeed.  He was young and used to getting help from people, his family and such.  What about the legions of people who do not have those avenues from which to draw support, which is the majority of us?  Simply because one is employed does not mean they are immune and the greedy forces that cause disparity know few boundaries today.  They have brain washed our elected officials.  The cop who was writing a ticket does so because it is his job, allegedly, but only because this is the current dictate of the city.  Capital Metro does not have to be punitive.  Why not live to make each others' lives good instead of uncomfortable?  Do cops go to work in hopes of being able to harass the homeless?  Hopefully not. Is there not a better application of the function that the police force serve in this city? Austin is a safe city, compared to others of its size and one would think that the city would be interested in keeping it that way.  Poverty breeds desperation and desperation breeds crime.  Homeless people deserve the same rights as those who have a place to call home. Why wouldn't they? Let them be or offer them a dignified existence, because harassing them is futile as well as undignified.  Homelessness will not disappear by writing tickets to them and pretending that lack of access to services is tenable.  Getting a job is not feasible for older people and with employment as scarce as it is, no one should be haughty about their stature.  I wish I could afford to give these guys who loiter at the bus stop more money, but I can only give a little. If more people took an interest in the lives of the less fortunate, it would only make life more meaningful for us all.  Helping others takes us away from our all too common and mundane problems, so why not? Many people who were once gainfully employed are without work...is it not finally time to question and undermine the mythological premise that all you have to do is work hard to succeed and that material success is because of hard work? There is a saying, that to anyone who boasts about their wealth coming from hard work, one must ask whose? So let us take off the rose colored glasses that make inequity and disparity plausible and, at the very least, help people in need of the basic and simple things.  It is all that any of us needs.

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