Homelessness

Every day I drive down the street in my truck.
I see the homeless people standing on the sidewalk;
Beggars holding up a sign, asking for a buck.

In the summertime:
I enjoy the air-conditioning,
As they sweat in the heat of the sun.

In the wintertime:
I’m seating in my heated cab,
As they stand and shiver in the cold.

I’m uncharitable, when I drive by.
When they stare at me, I turn away;
Because I don’t dare, to give them even a smile.

I have a job and a family, to love and support;
I have a home and a truck, I have a heavy duty.

But why is it, that I have so much,
And they have so little?
Are they lonely and sad,
Or just trying to make me feel bad?

When they were children,
Did they not dream of growing up to be,
Fathers and mothers or even a poet like me?

Why am I not begging and they’re not riding–free?
Heartless people say: “You can’t help everybody!”
Others say they choose their destiny,
By making mistakes.
And it isn’t my place, to get in the way,
Of the consequences:
“How else will we learn our lessons?”

Every day I drive down the road in my truck.
I see the fatherless children sitting on the grass;
And still, I judge and condemn them.
I’m not the one, that’s stuck.
I’m justified, I didn’t cause their bad luck.
Oh Jesus, then why do I feel like a schmuck?

By: ElRoy © 2018

Watch Matthew West—The Motions Lyric Video

Commentary: There’s a universal belief that success and self-worth are nearly identical and if you’re rich you must be either be smart or hardworking. But if you’re poor you must’ve messed up somewhere along the way. People like to believe that they’ve gotten to where they are, because they’re talented or have earned it. That could be true to some extent, but it’s also a fact, that there are people who could have been equally smart or talented and not in their position, because of the barriers that were erected to impede them. It’s hard to sit with the idea, that maybe somebody else deserves to be where they are, more than they do. I think almost everybody, wants to be able to tell a story of making it on their own. However, does that give them the right to hate the less fortunate?

Read article about lessons to learn from the pandemic

“Since it’s often impossible to get a reasonable sense of what will happen in the future, it’s unfair to blame people with good intentions who end up worse off as a result of unforeseen circumstances. This leads to the conclusion that compassion, not blame, is the appropriate attitude towards those who act in good faith but whose bets in life don’t pay off…Despair thrives where empathy is missing; right now, our lack of compassion for one another is killing us…No matter how smart we think we are, there’s a hard limit on what we can know, and we could easily end up on the losing end of a big bet. We owe it to ourselves, and others, to build a more compassionate world.”

Excerpt from The mathematical case against blaming people for their misfortune

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Bible, James 1:27

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