My day by day life as a homeless man. I give opinions about homelessness, tell stories, and offer homeless tips for surviving homelessness. Also, I share my plan on escaping homelessness. You get to watch my struggle.
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Monday, October 31, 2011
Day-41 Capitalization On The Homeless Market
I have to admit that I have learned a lot about homelessness since I have started blogging and joining the chat. Some good stuff, some bad stuff. One thing I have learned is that there seems to be a market for homelessness. Sounds kind of funny to me and even as I type this I'm not sure where I'm going with it, nor do I understand it. However, it seems to be there.
This thought came to me last night after I watched two fellow tweeters fighting. Over what, I'm not sure. It was either religion or homelessness (there it is again, I tell you the two go hand in hand). It occured to me that there seems to be much fighting on the web about both. The religion I understand. The homelessness I do not. For the focus of this blog post I'm going to keep it on the homeless portion.
So, yes, people everywhere seem to be fighting over homelessness. It's crazy! It's crazy for one simple reason: homelessness is simple! When it comes to homelessness there really is nothing to talk about. There is no need to fight. But here we are - people that just can't seem to get it right.
So I go over to this site and read about how this guy was homeless longer than the other guy so he knows better and therefore should be heard because he is more right. Another site is full of people arguing about how a homeless person stayed on a large billboard for two days to raise money for a trailer (which he got, 12,000 I believe). On another site, people are fighting about shelters. And on another site, people fighting about who gives more. On another site, people are fighting about the best ways to raise money and also the fairness of giving homeless people money. Here in Tampa we recently passed a law about pan handling, lots of fighting there. Even the homeless seem to fight about being homeless. It seems that the most witty sign that a homeless person can write and hold up will get him the most money that day. "See if you can hit me with a quarter" or "Need money for beer, drugs, hooker, hey at least I'm not bull shitting you" or "pregnant and homeless please help (that was I lie, I know her and she was just looking for drug money)" or a sign that reads "why lie! I need a cold beer" or "Wife has been kidnapped, Short 98 cents for her ransom". This goes on and on. Once again, I'm also amazed when I hear about people that want to be homeless. I do believe this "market" has something to do with it.
So, why is this? How have we as a human race turned something like homelessness into something that is worth fighting over? Once again: homelessness is simple: its bad!
Well, I have a few thoughts. One, money (lets face it, money plays a huge part in this across the board); two, the limelight (some people just want to be heard); three, religious and personal morals and beliefs (once again people want to be heard)!
I'm gonna stop here and tell a quick story: I once knew a pastor named Tom. Tom is (in my opinion) one of the most influential pastors in America. He is from Southern California and I have no doubt that there might be people who read my blog some day and know who I'm talking about. Tom is a storyteller. Tom does not lie. I found this story to be true. I heard him tell it a few times.
The story goes like this: A young man and his mother lived together. One day the young man asked his mother "who is my dad and where can I find him?" The mother responded "well, if you want to find your dad simply go downtown." Continuing on, she said "when you get downtown go into the darkest street, you can find, then find the dirtiest, smelliest, most nastiest homeless person you can find and that will be your dad". Well, the young man did just that. When he finally found himself in front of the homeless man he asked "Are you so and so?" (that's what we will call him, so and so). The homeless man responded "no, but I know the man you are looking for! That's pastor so and so! You can find him at the church on the corner of here and there!"
So here we are fighting over homelessness, who? Because it is a market. Every single aspect about it is a market. The more homeless you are the more you need help. The more you give the more morally correct you are. We fight about it because homelessness is a stage. Its a platform for a society within a society and if you can be the frontrunner on that platform you will be heard. The more giving to the homeless you are the more money you will get to help the homeless. The more homeless you are the more help you will get to become not homeless. Because I don't look homeless and I'm no holding a sign means that no one is going to throw a quarter at me.
Just so you know, I admire anyone that helps the homeless people. I just don't understand the fighting about it. Even as I write this now I will tell you, I am no different! I am exactly the same. I get up and instantly start trying to get my two cents in. I don't ask for help but I look for it. In fact I have based my entire goal of becoming not homeless around the fact that I am homeless. What's wrong with me?
Recently I saw an interview with the CEO of Coca Cola. I was amazed by this man. When asked why Coca Cola has been so successful over the years the CEO said he had a different approach to things. He said that opposed to trying to take Pepsi out of the loop he supported them. He didn't fight, he supported. The CEO went on to say that he felt the economy was that same. Instead of the people in America and China fighting over the value of the $ and who was worth more, we should be encouraging each other. Why? because then instead of fighting over who gets the bigger slice of the pie we can focus on how to make the pie itself bigger.
I think this lesson should be applied to homelessness. Any step that a person makes to help a homeless person is a good one. That help should not be undermined, shot down, or overseen by a "bigger amount" of help. I know not everyone is like this, I also must add. But only when we treat homelessness like it truly is "a very bad thing", stop fighting about it, and begin encouraging each other all to help the problem, will we ever see light at the end of this long tunnel. No matter how big or small the help is. The people who help the homeless out of their own kind hearts with nothing in it for themselves are truly kindhearted. The people fighting about it will never be heard.
These are just my opinions! You don't have to like them. They probably don't make sense anyway. This is just me tossing in my two cents and trying to be heard.