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View Diary: Discussing homelessness and homeless people at Daily Kos (153 comments)

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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

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    •  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

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      •  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).

        •  Take a breath yourself (0+ / 0-)

          Did you miss this?

          But I'm not sure we learned the same things from our experience of homelessness.

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

          by Dave in Northridge on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 01:28:22 PM PDT

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