The Silver Lining in My Ignorance of Homelessness

My friend Eugene did me the honor of bringing a live body and person to the epidemic of homelessness.  I think about all the times in Boston, when  I was a college student.  We thought nothing of stepping over men and women passed out in the streets, with their grocery carts of their life’s possessions.  I think today how could I have been so callous then?  It wasn’t just me but it was, for today I don’t answer for any of my mates I just stare myself down in the mirror.

Three weeks ago, I met Eugene, he didn’t ask me for a single thing.  For some reason during those maniac’s hours I was compelled to compassion and kindness.  Was it something about Eugene that night, or me for that matter, or was it that I saw a human being seating outside on the ledge and I knew I was going home and he didn’t have one?  Whatever it was I initiated contact, and although he was grumpy I think Eugene was really trying to make an effort.  What I didn’t know, is from that point on, I would take Eugene home with me, and he would never leave me again.

So in every shitstorm of life, we are bound to find the silver lining of sorts; the one or two things unexpectedly gained. Never did I think for a second I would have found a new friend in Eugene.  Second of all I would never have written that pretentious blog, which called myself out naked to all my ego-centrism.   I never would have shamed myself and the rest of humanity with my commentary.  Instead I would have just gone on living (if you really call living without empathy for others living) my life as it was with no major issues that bothered me, besides the normal political stuff.  I am or was not a person drawn in to the plight of others.   I had common respect for all, but I did not get involved with the particulars, they appeared as they do, that they would weigh me down.

Now today, I am going to research the state of homelessness in my state and in my very own town.  I have no big agendas planned, just to get involved hands on in my own community first, and see what else I might be able to do other wise, but surely I want my time and my efforts to improve the plight of the homeless in my town.  Tonight I will go at 3:30 pm, and volunteer at the Friendly Kitchen.  I hope to meet a lot of the community, the workers I will meet in time.  I just want to be there and do whatever needs to be done, to ensure a healthy dinner for all who come.  I am worried that this community might be hard to break into, as they never can trust anybody to come through for them. I know the place will be filled with broken souls galore, and that will take some getting used to.  I know after dinner and we all leave for the night, the community is not going home to their beds, yes I realize they might have a bed made up somewhere in town, but it isn’t the kind I am talking about.

So time to get going with my research, and find out all the ways the community supports the homeless.  I pray I shake this inequity feeling that has been eating at me. I did check in with myself on a deeper level, and the my answer is “no” this not done out of guilt, but simply of mindful empathetic awareness I lacked way too long.