We pass them everyday. Here in our cities, even in our small towns. Here in the richest, most powerful nation on earth, no; in the history of earth.
My parents generation used the phrase “Down on his luck.” It was a philosophical statement. The implication was that things were out of their control and but for the grace of God there go I. Or anyone.
But now we use more brutal language. We have devolved. Lazy. Welfare cheats. It’s easy to say that when you you’ve never worried about where your next meal is coming from.
The rich can sink to the upper middle class. The upper middle class can sink to the middle class. The middle class can sink to the lower middle class. The lower middle class can sink to the working poor.
But when you are already the working poor, and you lose whatever little you have then what do you do?
Do you really know what it is like to be without hope?
Why can’t we help them? Sure, some don’t want to be helped. And we decided long ago to stop institutionalizing people against their will if they were no danger to us. It’s a sticky wicket and one that’s personal to me because institutionalization impacted my family. The system was horrible and abusive and it needed to be blown up. And we did, promising to build something better. But, we did the feel good thing, which conveniently, was also the convenient thing. And by “convenient” I mean we eliminated funding.
We were going to pour money into grand plans and focus on mental health: but that was a lie.
You can say at the time, there were good intentions. You can say at the time, that we truly meant to invest the money. You can say that so and so happened and funds became tight. You can say but we invested it in education, and isn’t that most important? “I mean after all ‘the children’”. And in the short term you may even be able to convince yourself; “we did all that we could.”
But what history sees is a lie.
And the money didn’t go to education either.
I see a lot of cities with shit schools and huge homeless populations. Those same cities always seem to have a large up to date pro sports facility.
I am not against sports or stadiums. People should be able to enjoy things that make them happy. I am against stupid priorities.
History is merciless and unflinching. It always see the lie sooner or later.
I’m not very religious, it’s been drilled out of me. But still, I can’t help wondering, what would Jesus do? What should I do? What you should do is your own business. I’ll just leave that here.
© Glenn R Keller 2023, All Rights Reserved