Category Archives: Dependency

Me, Me, Me

(Originally published 06/06/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Republished here 10/30/13.)

This has been a very heavy day, and there’s a lot here. For the moment, at least, I will not try to organize this.

Darkness at times appears to serve Light; destruction, to serve creation.

It is a rude awakening for me to have to revisit the world of infantile self-centeredness, apparently to have to re-learn correctly this time (at age 57!) some things I didn’t learn correctly on the first go-round.

A world where it is correct for me to want things only for “Me, me, me!”
Continue reading Me, Me, Me

Chaos overwhelms the poor

(Originally posted 08/06/14.)

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor

A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY

(Originally posted 10/05/13.)

The Marshmallow Study Revisited

For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer—12 versus three minutes—than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations.

The article explores the issues in some depth.

The offering plate, part 2

ADVISORY:  This post includes explicit content that some readers may find objectionable.

One lives in a world substantially of one’s own creation.

The previous post asked, “What can I give as an offering?”

As of now, I am essentially a panhandler.

Continue reading The offering plate, part 2

The offering plate, part 1

One lives in a world substantially of one’s own creation.

The offering plate came around, and I got a shock.  I can remember when I dreamed of putting $60 in there each week, as the woman does who normally sits in front of me.  No such dream is available to me now; I am unable to envision myself ever putting anything in there.

My circumstances have rendered me infantile; a complete “taker.”  One of those who seeks to receive  “blessings” rather than seeking to be a blessing, a “maker.”

What can I give as an offering?

The offertory hymn was, “We are an offering.”

We lift our voices, we lift our hands
We lift our lives up to You
We are an offering
Lord use our voices, Lord use our hands
Lord use our lives, they are Yours
We are an offering

All that we have, all the we are
All that we hope to be
We give to You, we give to You

We lift our voices, we lift our hands
We lift our lives up to You
We are an offering, we are an offering[*]

I myself can be my offering.

More about that next week.

[*]Author: Dwight Liles. ©1984, Word Music, Inc.

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Previous posts mentioning the offering plate:
I’m getting interviews!
What a homeless man dreams of

Previous posts mentioning the credibility of dreams:
Hope and vision

ΔFosB: The genetic addiction risk factor

I only this week became aware of this.

Wikipedia:  FOSB

The article is extremely technical, but makes clear in no uncertain terms that Delta FosB is the genetic risk factor for addiction.  All addicts have it, regardless whether the addiction is chemical or behavioral.

It also helps me understand how, without having been born with the specific genes for alcoholism, they came to be present for me in middle age; how, after decades of consuming alcohol no differently than any normal person, I abruptly became a “drunk” at about age 32.

Related: Alcoholism basics

 

A simple lesson

(Originally posted June 22, 2013 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

My normal day runs as follows.  After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines.  Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69).  From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library.  When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00).  Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).

Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies.  I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.

Continue reading A simple lesson

Jimmy, part 2

Thursday 2014-07-03.  Jimmy came up to me at McDonald’s yesterday and sat down and talked about the incident.  He doesn’t say he’d been drinking.  He says people thought he’d been drinking.

Recall his psychiatric diagnoses.

Pastor sent me this clipping about the homeless squatters’ camp underneath the Jones Falls Expressway, which the City was about to raze — again. He thought the housing vouchers it mentions might be available to me. They’re not. A different detail caught my eye: the remark that many people in the camp “struggle with mental illness and addiction.” Note the “and.”

Continue reading Jimmy, part 2

Jimmy

16:01 Saturday 2014-06-28.  [Written in the “smoke pit” at the shelter, waiting admission.]

They escorted Jimmy out of here about half an hour ago.  He’s always been a milquetoast.  Now he was shouting and cursing.  “Yeah, I been drinking.”  Whatever happened at the desk, he’s barred out now.  I owe him $2.

He’s diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and ADHD.  I’ve seen him reading books about both of those diseases, but never anything about alcoholism.

Continue reading Jimmy

In playground murder, 12-year-old boy charged as an adult

Bookmarks:
In playground murder, 12-year-old boy charged as an adultHomeless woman beaten by cop speaks outRussian “aid” convoy in UkraineFirst steps in dealing with a problem drinker

Continue reading In playground murder, 12-year-old boy charged as an adult