Music: The Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
Continue reading Podcast — Love and Order
(Originally posted 01/29/14.)
In the process of “recycling” old posts on Wednesdays(*), I am now coming upon a number of posts with which I’m not completely comfortable. I probably would not write them, now or in the future, the way I did at the time; but I’m also still not sure exactly how I’d write them differently.
At the time I wrote those posts, I supposed my homelessness would be brief, and William Tell would soon enough become a public figure able to speak to what he saw as the pressing social issues. My homelessness continues eighteen months later, and my perceptions of those issues have changed.
Continue reading Issues with upcoming posts
Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.
Rough day at BK. I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all. But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave. (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined. I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.
The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.
(Originally posted 11/02/13.)
I have been asked to share my vast wisdom on the subject of yeast breads (chometz).
I’m not a big fan of lots of different recipes for bread. My philosophy is to find one basic recipe and then do variations on it: experiment with different ratios; stir in a cup of raisins or nuts or grated cheese; make rolls, using cinnamon, sugar and butter, or jelly, or peanut butter and jelly; use milk or evaporated milk or even fruit juice or cream instead of water; and so on.
I’ve forgotten the basic recipe I used before becoming homeless. One could start with this one, and experiment with different ratios until one settles on one one likes.
Don’t torture your conscience over whether or not, on any given occasion, to give or not give to a panhandler.
Go with your gut.
(1) God always provides more than you need.
(2) Use well what you’ve got now; only then will you get more.
(3) What you abuse, you lose.
(4) Absent a disease process, chronic poverty is not a natural condition.
I write as a man with next to nothing, concerned principally for others who have next to nothing. God put me in this position for a reason.
I am strongly tempted to want to rename it “The Parable of the Bootstraps.”
(Originally posted 09/30/13.)
Don’t let that odd title put you off. I think this op-ed by Robert J. Samuelson is pretty important.
The question is whether we direct the economy so as to increase wealth for everyone, or instead merely give poorer or richer people larger pieces of the “pie.”
In my conversations with other homeless folk and poor people generally, I hope to emphasize the desirability of creating wealth as opposed to merely taking it away from others.
On that point, I’m certainly prone to agree with Andy Kessler, though I have uneasiness as to whether or not he would support corresponding policies.
Other recent articles on similar questions:
As to Catharine Hill’s piece, I really have to question what “special services” rich families are “demanding” that are bidding up tuition costs.
A grassy lot inspires a vision of what can be when a community cares for itself.
When I take the bus to church in the morning, I normally get off at the closest stop, walk three blocks north and one block east. At the corner where I turn is a vacant lot. I don’t know who owns it. In months past, it has typically been heavily littered.
One morning not long ago, as I approached that lot, I saw that it had been cleaned. I saw this from fifty feet away. The way things are around here, that little bit of beauty nearly knocked me down. It took my breath away. It lifted my spirits.
A tiny bit of beauty can powerfully affect one’s mood. A mere glimpse of a pretty face can make one’s whole day.
I reflected: harmony is the essence of beauty, exemplified in the orderliness of the clean lot as contrasted with the chaos of its previous litter. I reflected on the relatednesses among light, love, harmony, order and prosperity, on the one hand; and darkness, strife, chaos and need, on the other. What does it take to begin to establish harmony? I concluded that perhaps love, or self-love, is the beginning of creation.
What if the whole community cared for itself as someone cared for that lot? Continue reading For us