Romance and Euphemisms

Posted: November 20, 2008 in Children, Compassion, Homelessness, Misconceptions, Morality, Veterans

A number of days ago, someone posted a comment which was sent to the blog’s moderation queue because it contained a link to a remote site. As a rule, after I review those types of comments, I generally remove the link and leave the body of the comment intact. I do this because the majority of the time these links lead to a site where someone is trying to promote or sell something. While I have no problems with folks trying to make money, I will not allow this blog to become a portal for folks to do so. There are other avenues that are available to them and those are the ones they should use. This blog is not about making money – pure and simple.  

Having said that: the commenter felt that he had come up with a novel approach for providing "mobile/temporary housing" for the homeless and asked that I take a look at what he was trying to promote and give him my thoughts about it. So, I linked over to the site and found that his idea wasn’t all that novel after all. I’ve had other folks contact me with ideas so similar that they could have been one and the same except for some very minute details.

I sent him a very brief email explaining why I didn’t believe his idea would work – much less have an impact at reducing homeless. His reply was rather lengthy. Nonetheless I took the time to read it, and afterward sent another short response of my own. His second reply was almost as long as his first. There was one line in the second response which troubled me,

"You don’t seem to have any romantic ideas for the future urban nomads to hang their hats on."

Actually, he is correct. I have absolutely no "romantic ideas" when it comes to homelessness. I don’t believe there is any "romance" to being homeless. If anything, I consider homelessness as a type of social and economic affliction – one which is life at its harshest.

I’ve seen the faces of American veterans who are homeless. I’ve seen the faces of senior citizens who are homeless. I’ve seen the faces of women who have become homeless because they’ve fled relationships filled with domestic violence. I’ve seen the faces of families who are homeless. Worst of all – I’ve seen the faces of children who are homeless. None of those faces had any "romantic ideas" about homelessness either.

And, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who believes that there is any type of "romance" to being homeless needs to seriously re-think their perceptions of the world around them.

But what bothered me the most about that particular sentence were the two words: urban nomads. He had also used those two words to describe the homeless in his first reply.

Personally, I intensely dislike euphemisms of any kind, particularly when they are used to make things seem less harsh than they really are. As for euphemisms which some folks try to assign to homelessness – I have zero tolerance for such nonsense.

The reality is this: this year some 3.5 millions folks will have experienced homelessness; 1.35 million of those people will be children and half of those children will be under the age of five; roughly 400,000 homeless adults will be American veterans; homeless families are the fastest growing segment of America’s homeless population; single women with dependant children comprise about 40 percent of the total of homeless families.

As far as I’m concerned there is nothing romantic about the number of persons who are homeless in this nation. And as for trying to re-assign euphemisms to the homeless such as "urban nomads," it is ridiculous in the extreme.

Do I lack romantic ideas about homelessness?

You bet I do.

As I’ve said, in my opinion there is absolutely nothing romantic about homelessness. If anything, considering the increasing numbers of folks becoming homeless, I’m more inclined to think of it as a national disgrace.

  1. Renee M says:

    Whenever I go grocery shopping there are always homeless who waiting outside asking people for change when they come out of the store. I give when I can afford it because I feel sorry for them. I think that anybody who thinks there’s anything romantic about being a homeless person has a sick mind. Stick to your guns about this and keep up the writing.

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