It is my hypothesis that we’ve forgotten our communities. We’ve forgotten, as a whole, that we’re in this together because the lines of division have been drawn between liberal and conservative, African American and White, White and Hispanic, old and young, healthy and sick, poor and rich. We’re told we have no common ground and that it’s every wo/man for themselves. With rare community exception this appears to be the “norm.”
We’ve forgotten our addresses as places to be charitable. We depend on the faceless churches to do what we do not want to do which is know our neighbor and lift them up with loving hands as we know in our hearts is right. We deny it because it’s easier to look away than to look poverty in the eye. We see the problem but rarely solve it because surely someone must be doing something about that already, right? You know, those faceless people that occasionally get a shout out by “DoSomething.org” or “Upworthy” or “Because I said So”.
We don’t have to be human, we just have to do what we’re told. We shouldn’t look at those homeless, starving, unhealthy people because they’re the problem. They’re lazy. They’re alcoholics and addicts. They’re people who deserve what they get because if they’d only tried a little harder, got a better education, given up the booze they would make it in this world. They wouldn’t be littering our streets with their hollow eyes, freezing hands and feet, or spitting blood onto the concrete covered in our garbage they took sustenance from for dinner.
But my further hypothesis of why we commonly look away from instead of towards a solution is that many of us know we’re but a paycheck or two away from the very same fate. Seeing our futures reflected back at us from the eyes of a hungry child is not something we wish to see in our own families. Seeing a homeless Veteran sitting on the sidewalk with a cardboard sign is not how we want to believe we treat our soldiers. Seeing a woman angry at her dire circumstance allows us the right to look away so we don’t have to see what we may become should the fates not smile on us anymore.
I have been working in my own community to establish a garden where the people I live next door to and across the street from can work elbow to elbow with me to create sustainable food for our families despite circumstance. It is my belief that if we work together we can make a difference in our lives. But sadly, there is little hope here. Without a torch to light the way, without strong voices calling them out to join the fray, we will remain in the darkness of poverty, starvation, homelessness, and the stigmas that are attached to those solvable issues.
FOSTER: “Y’all just get my compassion thing a throbbin’ but you forgot the one thing that drives EVERYTHING in America, MoNeY! God love you for your innocence but if already rich old white men can’t get richer it ain’t gonna fly.”
CHAPIN: “Need way more people like u around”
ERRETT: “You should write a book Mare… Excellent writer”
Lilo & Stitch – This is My Family.
MARTELL: “CHAPIN, the thing is, we’re all these people. We just need to do the right thing. You’d not let your own child starve, why someone else’s offspring. We all bleed red. We’re all one.
FOSTER, you can’t eat money, you can’t house someone in coins.”
FOSTER: “Oh I couldn’t agree more, I’m just saying the prevailing feeling amongst the right wing is “I don’t care about a bunch of brown kids” “lazy old vet should get a job” “I got mine, why should I care about you” it is a shame money becomes an issue when the subject is basic human dignity but to so many it is.”
MARTELL: “There are 535 members of Congress. There are 317 million Americans. Allowing this to continue is an abomination to humanity. We the People of the United States, not who has the most money. If we stood united and refused to allow people to destroy our unity and humanity, we, ALL of us, could make the changes necessary without violence, without anger, without hatred, but with love. Love won’t feed a child, that’s fact, but the hands that make that food with love can.”
FOSTER: “From your mouth to God’s ears my good friend. I am not cynical just resigned to the level of cruelty that about half the people in this country are capable of. You can find them every Sunday morning in pews across the country, right next to the ones who would wish things were different.”
MARTELL: “Wishing doesn’t solve anything. Waiting for someone else to do it doesn’t solve anything. Claiming good heart while your neighbor loses everything in foreclosure because of family illness or loss of employment doesn’t solve anything. It’s only when we use our hands with love towards one another that we’ll be following any common sense. If it happens to one of us, it can happen to all of us. We need unity back in our community. Without it, we’re no better than those 535 members of Congress, or the VA that allows our soldiers to go without care, or the family services that allows children to go hungry or the department of immigration who destroys innocence because of an imaginary line drawn on paper. This should outrage us. This should piss us off. This should be addressed by We The People because I don’t want to wear the label of executioner of humans. It’s morally wrong.
P.s. I don’t care which religion you follow or don’t follow. This has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with love.”
LOONEY: “Read this entire conversation, I couldn’t say anything better. I’m proud of the spiritual aspect and the integrity that you’ve grown into, my daughter. A wholeheartedly agree that the loss of community is a symptom that plagues us. Families no longer live in the same house or even in the same town/city. Therefore the so called breakdown of the family -IMHO-has as much to do with geography as much as lack of commitment to many things.”