I respond to the first paragraph only. Nothing else. The first paragraph.
Beans and rice are nothing to despise.
I first applied for food stamps in 2004. I had had a professional career for 25 years, and for three generations not one member of my family had ever been subject to any form of “welfare.” Now I sat in a 40-by-40 lobby full of people, filling out the forms. Assets: –0–. Bank balance: –0–. Income: –0–. And I wept. I cried like a baby.
A sister-in-law, an #immigrant, responded to this news by waging a campaign for the family to disown me. She would later tell her husband she did not want to be married to a man whose brother receives food stamps. To my family’s credit, her campaign failed. I’ve been through tons of difficulty, and to their credit, my blood kin have never left me.
Beans and rice are nothing to despise.
In my current world as a homeless man, I deal with many, many people who persevere in need BECAUSE they despise every single blessing God provides. My only hope, currently an active hope, to improve my own lot, rests in being GRATEFUL for every blessing God provides.
Beans and rice, for example.
So, here we go: Poor people, listen up! Just in case you DON’T despise every single blessing God provides, it’s OK.
#Liberals like @Arthur Delaney stand ever-ready to despise it FOR you.
Ethnic differences don’t all need to be A Problem.
A certain woman has struggled for some years with alcoholism. I have followed her case because she’s close to me and because I am, after all, an alcoholic myself.
Continue reading Two Jews, three opinions
(Originally posted 05/19/12 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 02/19/14.)
Plan that, after you obtain your high school or college diploma, you will work continuously until you retire.
At all costs, do not allow yourself to become completely jobless.
Continue reading Advice for job-seekers
Brandy Felci is homeless by choice.
It could be a lot worse. Some people get barred out of every shelter in town because they refuse to follow any of the rules, or are extremely belligerent.
As to the headline, it doesn’t matter much: On my Yahoo! News feed, it’s changed three times since I first logged on this morning. Someone assigned this reporter to do the mandatory Christmastime piece on homelessness, that’s all.
Related: Who are the homeless?
Related: Housing the homeless ain’t that easy
Are thorns happy?
Friday, December 1, Bounce showed Steven Seagal’s Above the Law.
He always plays opposite some eye candy, a term I learned from a Doonesbury strip about Uncle Duke’s presidential campaign. In Above the Law, it was Sharon Stone. In On Deadly Ground, it was Joan Chen, a Chinese actress cast as a Native American, with no real function but to look nice and follow him around.
“Eye candy” isn’t a mere phrase. I saw again that when I see a pretty woman, such as Stone in that scene, I get a sweet taste in my mouth. This is a physiological reaction, and potentially raises lots of questions about how we respond to beauty — or ugliness.
Related: For us.
I have much the same reaction whenever I see a rose.
Which recalls my interactions with that rose bush in the garden. Continue reading Why do roses have thorns?
(Originally posted 05/18/12 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged 02/12/14.)
To get from Point A to Point B, you must move.
At this moment, as I write this, I am living in a pit.
I am homeless.
I face a choice: do I want to get out, or stay here?
Continue reading Work
At Christmas, Christians celebrate the event in which they say God became a human being.
Without this event, according to traditional Christianity, there would be no salvation, and no hope for you and me.
What is called “incarnational theology” tells us that Jesus’ power to save and competence to save both derive from the incarnation — God’s having become a human being.
By virtue of the incarnation, God obtained first-hand experience of everything we human beings have to deal with — all the trials and tribulations we go through from day to day. In Jesus, God came face to face with physical suffering, pain, bitter cold and burning heat; hunger, anger, lust and love. The Bible does not tell us all the details of Jesus’ life, but I am convinced he went through it all. There is no circumstance you can come into, that he hasn’t faced. Thus he can be present to you, no matter what your circumstances.
In the spiritual (emotional) world also, there is nowhere Jesus hasn’t been. He can be present to you no matter where you “go” emotionally.
God is with you and for you at all times.
(Originally posted 12/25/13.)
Part I: Issues with upcoming posts
If I’ve learned anything in the past two years, it’s this:
(1) The Way of Peace works, and my calling is to walk this way. But it takes work that I’m not always willing to do. Call it cross-bearing.
(2) A large portion of the poor will inevitably be poor forever.
(3) No one can prescribe another person’s dreams.
Continue reading Issues with upcoming posts II
(Originally posted 02/08/14.)
Adam Grant, The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, An Antidote to the Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence
Dilemma: a hammer can be used either to build a house or to destroy priceless heirlooms. Possessing the tool of emotional intelligence does not mean one will use it favorably. What makes the difference?
In anticipating this post, I searched for a traditional term for “emotional intelligence.” I decided that the traditional term for it is wisdom. The Old Testament consistently refers to people who have emotional intelligence as “wise.” Those who lack it, it calls “fools.”
In the previous post, we saw that emotional intelligence, or wisdom, is a major determinant of personal effectiveness and success in life; in short, of prosperity. To the extent one wishes all people to prosper, it seems desirable that all people be wise.
In short, the wise prosper.
But the wise aren’t necessarily good, and the good aren’t necessarily wise.
Continue reading The dark side of EQ
One’s ulterior motives can be wholly different from anything one would expect, and can make one do funny things — that one likewise would never expect. At least, things that have nothing to do with one’s real needs.
Decades ago, my brother Francis, the dentist, knowing that my prescription medicines include SSRIs, asked whether I grit my teeth at night; for it’s common for such patients to do that.
I don’t grit my teeth, but I do take special joy in crunchy foods. This has been on my mind, as this hankering has been prominent in recent months. On occasions when I got turned away from the shelter, I would buy lots and lots of potato chips to include in supper, since they’re crunchy. Also, potatoes are high in tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin; so that potatoes are, in fact, a mood-enhancing food. Continue reading Ulterior motives are funny.