I saw the shopping carts loaded with empty bottles, tattered blankets and cardboard. I pondered without judgement, what would it be like?
To spend a night on the streets… no heat, no safety of a front door or walls, what about when I needed the restroom, and where would I get my next meal?
I felt saddened to think of this life. Was it chosen, was it the result of numerous poor choices, or was it a combination of generational poverty, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, loss of job, lack of family and friend resources? At this point, it doesn’t really matter. Living on the streets isn’t safe or sanitary, and it definitely doesn’t fit into my
picture of a thriving, sustainable community.
What can I do? I am only one person and every time I turn around there seem to be roadblocks and problems so complex, that the answers are ambiguous and the solutions unattainable. The shopping carts, unemployment, drugs, car campers, trash, mental health issues, the kids…what about the kids?
I look at my daughter and am grateful. Grateful for our home with a nice warm bed and refrigerator stocked full of nutritious foods. I am grateful for school choices and employment, family and friends, coffee at Schat’s and Low Gap Park.
Humanity: kindness, compassion, consideration… This is something I can do. This is something we all can do. It isn’t about handouts or acceptance of disrespect or disregard for laws, it’s about humanism and a culture of human kindness. It’s about creating the kind of thriving, sustainable community that I want to live and raise my daughter in.
So there it is…that’s my challenge to you, Humanity.