Well it's thanksgiving once again, and after a day of doing the family thing (and going to a hockey game) i find myself traveling home. We stopped at a gas station so Morning could get an Autotrader (long story) and for me to get some water. Morning goes in and i sit in the car. While i'm waiting and man, walking with a limp, approaches and asks for some money so he can get something to eat on thanksgiving. I didn't have anything to give, plus i don't like to give out money either, so i call Morning to buy him something from the gas station, but she had already checked out. When she comes out she gives him about 3 dollars and wishes him a happy thanksgiving and we left.
Well it hit me about half way home.. there was a waffle house... and i had my debit card.. i could have just taken him in the WH and told him "order what ever you want" but i didn't... i just didn't think about it until it was too late. So all the rest of the ride home i continued to think about this. Matter or fact that's why i'm writing this now. I just couldn't get it off my mind.
Haven been homeless in the past, i know how much it sucks.. but when i was homeless i was younger and did really care, it was ll an adventure. And though they weren't all good times. i just didn't think about it much. i knew that eventually i'd be able to find some friends to move in with sooner or later or just pick up and travel around. But now as i've gotten older I think about the prospects of being homeless again, especially when i get over 50 and i can see how easy it could be for this to happen to me. To anyone, and frankly it scares me.
So many of us are just a paycheck or two away from being out on the streets. All it would take is for me to have some major accident at work, where i end up unable to work either permanently or even for year or two. I hardly worked last winter and it's taken the better part of a year to get back on track. But i was lucky i had a girlfriend who could help out and a roommate so bills aren't exceedingly high (but high enough), and if worse came to worse i could always move in with a family member till got back on my feet.
Not all people are so lucky. It's hard to make due when all you have is yourself in atlanta. The cost of living is sky rocketing and it doesn't seem to have an end in sight. my girlfriend and i have had to confront the idea of buying a house (now) or be forced out of our neighborhood due to gentrification. And that gentrification is making it harder and harder for poor working people and families to make ends meet. So many poor elderly people have found their way to the streets due to rising rents, and property values. And what is a person to do if they don't have any family to fall back on? Now there is practically no safety net to catch anyone who finds themselves in this situation.
I've known for a long time that this system is wrong. That is divides us and breaks us down into being judged on our productive value. And that those who either don't possess the skills or the physical or mental ability have little productive value. This is no way for a person to be judged. And no one should have to go without food, shelter, or clothing. No one should have to beg to put a little food in their belly and no one should be criminalized for it when they do. This system is WRONG. It uses people till it has no use for them anymore then it spits them out and leaves them to fend for themselves. And teaches those of us that aren't so unfortunate that we have to only look out for ourselves and that others just don't matter.
Every holiday i get reminded of this. Even though i know it all year long, it gets brought to the fore front of my mind at these times. There is just no reason why so many must go without in a society that has so much excess. We waste so much. And we should make sure that all people have the basics in life and encourage others to consume less.
As much as i feel it's good to help those that are less fortunate i do not believe that doing charity work will fix the problem. it just won't. it's like putting a band-aid hemophiliacs open and bleeding cut, it just doesn't do anything, because it doesn't address the problem, just a symptom. With out addressing and confronting capitalism, we will never see the end to those that have fallen through the cracks for one reason or another. We will never see the end to class stratification and the heir-achy of power it creates. Nor will we see a day without the haves and the have-nots.
Not until we have smashed capitalism will we all be free.
iggy (i'm tired and loosing track of where i am - i'll pick up again later )