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  •  At that time Dave, (15+ / 0-)

    Either in that diary or in another discussing it, you used the term "self-congratulatory."

    And that's what struck me too.

    Taking care of my brothers and sisters should be a cause for a diary no more than my feeding my dogs their dinner is. It should an ingrained duty to the extent that it's part of who we are. Being a dog owner is an important part of who I am, so feeding them is an ingrained duty. Being a member of humanity is an important part of who I am, so caring for my brothers and sisters is an ingrained duty. We don't get extra credit for what we're supposed to do.

    If a mom with a stroller struggles to get it up a tall curb, I ask her if she needs help, reach down take the front of the frame and lift the wheels up. When the senior citizen in front of me at Costco has forgotten that his Visa card isn't accepted there and he won't be able to buy his milk, bread, eggs, and few other things, I tell him I would love to buy them for him this one time. At the grocery store,  the young mom doesn't have enough food stamp funds to buy groceries AND diapers, I hand her the cashier my credit card.

    In each case, they profess profuse thanks and say they'll repay me.. In each, I explain to  them that when I was a struggling  college student, a woman in a bright blue dress helped me pay for my groceries and  told me that I would more than make up for it over my lifetime.

    So I smile and tell them, I know that they will help someone in the future to repay the debt.

    When I give cash to homeless people, I am paying back the universe for the kindness that strangers have given me. The trucker that changed my tire on the interstate. The bicyclist that caught my beagle puppy as she slipped out of her collar and was dashing toward the street. The people that stopped after we had our terrible accident to make sure we were ok.

    We are not affluent people. But having a few spare $$$ in my glove box makes it easy for me to give back. We have struggled financially, very much so. We easily could have lost our home due to overwhelming medical bills that nearly dragged us under. But we didnt. And I am forever grateful.

    And I show the universe my gratitude by caring for its children, whenever they cross my path, if I possibly can.

    There's no reason to congratulate myself for doing something I should be doing.   And write a diary about it? Well, my beagle eats 1/2 cup of kibble and the big guy gets 2 cups of kibble at night...

    Great diary . Thanks.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 06:23:30 PM PDT

    •  Because you're a mensch (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, Joy of Fishes

      Thanks, Grover.  That's just how it should be.

      -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

      by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 06:33:30 PM PDT

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    •  I think it's also helpful to write about (6+ / 0-)

      caring, giving experiences as role-modeling.   I know when I read such here, it always gives me pause.  How would I react in the same circumstances?

      You guys are much too concern-trolling about this.  I totally agree with most of what you wrote, DiN.   I learned from what you posted.  But I also felt warm 'n fuzzy reading about the generous spirit of other Kossacks in that previous diary's comments.

      But in the diary that you (so unfortunately referenced here), I did speak up and mention that I give extra generously to "homeless" people (I assume they are), when I've had a beneficent windfall.  It's like "paying it forward."  And I almost always choose someone who seems like they need it but who haven't asked me for it.  Is that "condescending" on your patronization scale?  

      When I was homeless and totally broke, I never asked anyone for spare-change, or any help at all.   I just couldn't.   I appreciated when someone perceived I needed help (rarely).  

      So I try to step up and help others when I can.   Usually no one knows about it, except for the recipient.
      I don't need profuse thanks and appreciation for some trifling action of "help" on my part.  I'm just "paying it forward".  

      But, oth, I don't appreciate getting a mean, spiteful response, either.  Like, "Man, is this all you got to give me?"  

      I once went with a volunteer church group on their weekly rounds to feed the homeless on the streets of L.A.   They had outfitted a big van with a "soup kitchen".   We also gathered day-old bread from bakeries and restaurants to give out.    

      Then we drove to the worst homelessness areas of L.A. that I've ever experienced, personally.   I was nervous about the group's openness and accessibility to their "clientele".  

      But I was humbled and astonished by how patiently, quietly and considerately the people lined up outside the van for their soup, bread and bottled water.   Every single one I observed was so sweet and dignified in their humble appreciation for the food and the people delivering it.  Taught me an indelible lesson.

      "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

      by sockpuppet on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:18:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, thanks for the explanation (5+ / 0-)

        But I'm not sure we learned the same things from our experience of homelessness. And reread your last paragraph, please.  That's exactly the problem I have with diaries like the one I unfortunately referenced.

        If that's being a concern-troll, I suppose I am one on this issue.

        -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

        by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 07:31:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not only concern-troll (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kait, timewarp, Spirit Dancer, verso2, aitchdee

          I definitely don't think we learned the same things "from our experience of homelessness".  You apparently learned an unremitting cynical bitterness, based on your  hypocritical, judgmental, smug self-righteousness dripping from your reply to my comment.  

          Most of the folks on the street in that extremely hard-core street-living area of L.A. do appear to be tragically beaten down by mental illness and substance abuse.   In a lot of instances, such people can be violent.  I've certainly experienced that first-hand. (Used to be in law-enforcement, myself.)

          What I was pointing out was how basically heroic it was that the people lining up for their lunch/dinner, given how difficult it likely was for some of them to do so, waited with such patient courtesy.   I've seen more deranged, selfish, self-centered, obnoxious behavior at the pizza and beer stands at rock concerts.   Yeah, the folks in our soup line taught me a lot in those moments.

          A number of them requested that we limit their portions so there would be enough for everyone (we had more than enough).  

          And some of them asked for servings that they could take to others sitting and lying in the shade on the concrete nearby who obviously couldn't make it over to our van.   They were so caring and gentle with these others too incapacitated to feed themselves.  

          Not one of them I interacted with that day seemed to be making any judgments against us that we were the "haves" giving "charity" to the "have-nots".    They seemed to appreciate (there's that word that seems like a red-flag to you) our effort to bring them sustenance on a blazing hot day, as much as they appreciated any help and assistance received from each other.  No more and no less.

          Make of all that what you will, but at least perhaps accept that you are inferring and judging others through your own distorted filters.   And that's no different than what most of us do, that you're railing against, y'think?  "Physician, heal thyself," comes to mind here...

          "I'm glad I don't know how it feels to vote to withhold basic human rights from someone else." DavidW-DKos

          by sockpuppet on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 11:22:39 PM PDT

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        •  Wow. Dave. (4+ / 0-)

          Take a breath.  Did you miss this part of sockpuppet's comment?

          When I was homeless...
          YOU don't get to be the ONLY person who speaks for ALL of US homeless people.  Or to say what we should or should not learn.

          I think I get where you are coming from.  I really do.  But.  You are not helping yourself or anyone else with this kind of approach (and one of the things I learned when homeless is that sometimes in life you have to just do what works, rather than what you want to do).

    •  well, just so you know, grover (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      verso2

      the self-congratulatory diarist has left dailykos feeling completely humiliated and misunderstood, and shall not be returning--not to this community and not likely into any other social setting for a good long while. Folks seemed to forgetten all about the fact that there was a real, live other person involved here--the dairist (newbie) this diary calls out, argomd. She walked right into a buzzsaw, too, unaware of the brusing she would take for being unguaredly candid, for just the story of the day she gave some dollars to a homeless man. But boy, has she learnt her lesson--she now realizes what a "self-congratulatory" person she is, pandering dailykos for "extra credit." Good on yah for doling out that instruction, I am sure you have helped her with her moral education very much. It might be a cold day in you know where before she risks any sharing anything with anyone again, here or anywhere. But never mind that bus, grover, 'cause you've got nothin' on your conscience to worry about.

      P.S. Why is it fine for you to talk about giving money to the homeless and yet argomd (the diarist you're beating on here, in concert with DinN) must be repeatedly exoriated for it? Well, she's gone from here--she isn't reading any of this. I'm just now getting an eyeful of the rest of the comments. And I cannot believe what I'm seeing. She's right, she's too sensitive for this place. So, probably, am I.

      God bless our tinfoil hearts

      by aitchdee on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 09:17:51 PM PDT

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