Tuesday, April 9, 2013

homeless people must be treated with respect......

A funny thing happened on my Way to Dinner with my Homeless Friends... I discovered who I am and my own values through the way my so-called friends treated ME. One of my friends told me that Homeless People were OK, but that some of them were ``NASTY.'' That one word cut me worse than a surgeon's knife--deep and long--like the scar on my chest and upper stomach left from a liver biopsy. [Thank GOD it was be-nine] I will carry that scar for the rest of my life, just like I will carry the scar from that one word ``NASTY'--the rest of my life...

I carry the word NASTY for several reasons. I carry it because that is similar to what my Mother said about me when she discovered I was a homosexual. ``Why do you defile your body so?'' she asked me. She might as well have said, ``How can you do those NASTY things with other men?'' This cut me to the quick. I was only in my early 20's when she said this, but I knew I had been irrevocably hurt by those words. They especially hurt because they came from my own flesh and blood--my Mother, who I loved dearly and holistically since I was able to first breath GOD's fresh air. They hurt even more because it was always My Mother who protected me and guarded me against the harsh words of My Father. [I have forgiven Him as totally and as much as I can]. It was like a mutiny on the bounty. It was like pain a thousand times worse than being slapped directly in the face by someone you love dearly--and for seemingly NO GOOD REASON....... I couldn't deceiver a good reason from what I had heard because being a homosexual was all I knew after unsuccessfully chasing girls around in High School and taking a bath up-stream in De-Nial for a few short months.

Yes. Maybe I was and am too sensitive. Maybe I need to get over it. And I have tried and I work at healing everyday, but We live in a society that hurts to the quick again and again and again in a thousand ways. We have to be more receptive to the LOVe we find in our hearts and in the hearts of others. We have to allow others to come to us with the pain WE have caused them and ask for their forgiveness as Well. I am sure the Brother who told me that word ``NASTY'' was not trying to hurt MY feelings, but when you sit and eat and dine with certain people, just about any people, you begin to understand their pain. That is why the Whites kept the luncheonettes ALL White during the early days of the Civil Rights struggles; that is Why the Whites during Apartheid in South Africa kept Blacks away from their all-White establishments and forced them to segregate with pass cards... That is why some Black People in South Africa were tortured and given no jobs. [South Africa is still pulling away from Apartheid and constructing a new system for itself that is more open, accessible, fair, legally equitable and that spells FREEDOM for ALL races who live, work, go to school and or visit there or are there for whatever reason.] When you share space with the ones you hate or don't usually see or don't understand because you live differently, you get to see them up close and personal and if you have ANY humanity in you,--and if they have ANY humanity in them--you begin to understand and feel and even like or LOVe them. Close proximity is something that can begin to heal wounds. That is if you have ANY humanity in you at all.

Then again, there are some people who are just hateful, but GOD will have HIS way with them as Well, before this crazy experiment called life on earth is through.

I have eaten with these people, my Homeless Brothers and Sisters, about TEN times. I learned something each time. First, Me. Being the bossy type, I would do the whole feeding the Homeless thing a lot differently than they do it where I go for food. I would always ask for at least a few cents from them so they could feel a part of the process--not just feel that something was being given to them. Psychologists have proven that people feel more incorporated into what is going on if they are giving something to whatever process they are taking part in. Yet this simple fact gets away from the good-hearted people who prep air the food and serve the food to the Homeless People at Arch Street United Methodist Church and the other places I go for dinner or pantry food..... If Homeless People are asked for a simple penny they will feel part of the process. Such money, although it may be low in quantity, is worth more ethically--get that--ethically--than a Millionaire's Dollars from a rich man or rich woman because it comes from the heart and is probably treasured more as it is harder to come by. [There is something about an old woman in the Bible who gave Her last money to either Jesus or the Church and was blessed Phenomenally!!!.] I am sure there must be a Bible quote about the money of the poor somewhere in the King James Version.

When the poor begin to understand, as some, many have already, that the further they put their hands out for food and a hand out, the more the Oligarchy puts their hands into the poor person's pockets to take away whatever financial and economic blessings they have--the more poor people realize this the better off they become instantly. [I don't know how I know this about most of the greedy Established Order, but they keep more and more people poor and homeless and disenfranchised and they seem to care less about what happens to the so-called safety net in our country.  They keep tearing and cutting away at it and not replacing it with much of anything. This might be changing and I pray it is changing.  There is a store at 52nd and Walnut Street that I =just discovered and I think it is a Muslim store. I feel REALLY GOOD about shopping there and I hope this is a change.  Why should we continue to give our money away to people who don't care about us one thin nickle.!!!] When they are asked to be a part of their own economic support system, the quicker they, the poor as a community of People, will be able to face the future as proud, courageous People ready to learn how to take their futures into their own hands--not as hoards of victims unable to bend, form and mold their own destinies.

At last Blush, when I ate with the Homeless this time the food was a bit better. It didn't seem to be something that was just thrown together. The people who serve the food are ultimately almost always White, but the Homeless are largely Black. There are increasing numbers of Whites who are homeless and in need of basic necessities as well. But what really gets me is the children of the Homeless. The little boys and little girls who are under 12, some as young as five and six, who are in a matrix, a storm of poverty that is NOT their making. They make me wonder how on Earth are they getting schooling? Where is their next meal coming from? What about the meal after that? AND there are thousands of such children. Even with the food stamp program that the Republicans want to cut. Even with the Medicare Cuts coming along as the Wall Street and Madison Avenue Executives take home million dollar bonuses. Where is the fairness? Where is the humanity? Where is GOD in this church that gives food, but gives few solutions as to how to grow from poverty. The poor little faces. The poor little hands. GOD please help them, or give me something to help them. I'll get some people together and help them if you help me GOD!!!

The dinner on Sunday March 17th at 6:30 P.M. was chicken in gravy with those fake mashed white mashed potatoes and string beans. The string beans were not canned. This was a good thing and there was even a little salad.  And there was enough for people to have seconds. This was good because some Homeless People don't know when or where their next meal is coming from. There is a Sistah named Sicarie Rhodes in Philadelphia who has helped feed Homeless People for almost Her entire Adult life. There are other activists; Black; White; Latin; Gay; Straight; Transgendered; Jewish; Christian; Muslim and Orthodox--that help Homeless People. I just have a shortage of food and have to eat there. I write about it as a learning process for me and I share the stories with Others. It is a reality that some people might never know, but it is a reality that many of us shouldn't ever have to know. But the story of the Untouchables in East India is much, much worse. I carry their story with me each and every day as well because I promised some East Indians I would write about them when I was in South Africa for the Conference Against Racism in 2001. I never wrote the article, but their story is also in me and harking for a word or two, so I am letting them know I have not forgotten them as well. I will have to do research abut the untouchables because I can't go to India and see them and be with them. Research it is...

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