Letter: Compassion needed in homeless conversation
Many years ago the city and City Council were having a similar conversation about the “problem” of the homeless folks in our community. “They were a problem, we must do something about it,” was the rallying cry.
One council member said with the great food and services (read: hospitality) we offer here, people are coming from as far away as New York City just to enjoy it. I raised the question: Is this about poverty/homelessness, or is it about bad behavior?
The point is, rude/bad behavior is wrong, by any, and we have rights to protect ourself and others from this. There are laws to protect us from bad behavior. On the other hand, living in poverty or being homeless is not a crime. There are many reasons people end up in the streets; health issues (physical, mental and emotional), bad choices, hard times; the reasons are as many as the people who find themselves in that situation.
The point is, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. That is true for a society also. All of the great spiritual teachings speak to poverty; they encourage us to love and help one another. Sometimes I feel we have things backwards. We are to love people and use things, and instead we use people and love things.
There are solutions to poverty, to social, mental and health issues. The question is: Do we embrace these solutions? I don’t know what type of society you choose to live in, but I choose one based on the teachings of Jesus: “Love one another.”
There are always excuses for not doing the right thing, but in our hearts we know what the right thing is: to love, to serve, to not judge, to treat others as we would wish to be treated.
Again, Jesus said to us the Kingdom of God dwells within us; every single one of us. Each person should be treated as so.
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