The Right Tools

Posted: July 15, 2007 in Compassion, Homelessness, Morality

The Internet is a wonderful tool for doing research and, often times, for finding even the most obscure information. With the massive amounts of data and billions of web sites, search engines index and categorize that information, allowing us to find the information we’re looking for, as well as sites that have similar information – regardless of where the information is physically stored or it’s point of origin.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was – as far as I know – the first person to use the phrase "information super highway" in reference to the World Wide Web. And, that’s exactly what it is – world wide.  

I blog about homelessness and, although homelessness is a world wide problem, I write specifically about homelessness in and around the San Luis Obispo, California area. I write about the things that local area homelessness is about, what the homeless go through, what I perceive is or isn’t being done to help them, and things of that nature.

Because I am so focused on homelessness in my small corner of the world, what I write is geared to members of my local community and I often times forget that there are people all over the world who have access to the blog.

Last week I published a post called "By The Numbers."

I received a comment on that post from a gentleman named Nir Alon. Although I’m not sure where exactly in the world he resides, I’m pretty sure it isn’t anywhere near SLO.

To quote a part of what he said:

"…last year I was fortunate enough to see what can be done, what can be achieved … and it’s only a trivial matter of money and compassion…"

He’s absolute correct – it does take money and, most importantly compassion.

I’m persuaded that the majority of people have some measure of compassion. That compassion is evident whenever a catastrophe occurs somewhere. People band together to help their fellow human beings. They open up their hearts – and their pocketbooks. And when that happens, great things follow.

Compassion, however is a verb. It does require action. It takes more than just talking about doing something and then just sitting back on our haunches waiting for someone else to go about doing what needs to be done.

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle was quoted having said:

"We have come dangerously close to accepting the homeless situation as a problem that we just can’t solve."

Perhaps that’s the problem. Perhaps we don’t think that we can solve the homeless situation so we just decide to let someone else worry about it. And because we don’t think we can solve the problem, we don’t try new approaches – only rehashed versions of outdated methodology.

I don’t know how long homelessness has existed. I’m willing to guess that homelessness has been around as long as mankind. And, I’m guessing that every community has dealt with homelessness the same way – they’ve just displaced the homeless further by trying to push them somewhere else, to some other community.

Whether we like it or not, the homeless in our community are our responsibility. It is in our best interest to find a way to help those who are willing to help themselves. It is morally correct for us to reach out to our homeless and seek a way of reestablishing them as a productive part of our society.

All it takes is the right tools: A heart of compassion and the willingness to make the true effort.

Don’t believe me?

Visit Nir’s photo gallery at: Images Of My Thoughts: In Spite Of…

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Comments
  1. nir says:

    michael,
    you are making compassion a verb and i wish you you tons of success for the benefit of us all!

    nir
    jerusalem, israel

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