One can want the best for another person, but
only that person can define what “the best” means.
On the walk from the shelter to church Wednesday morning, I was in great turmoil. I may or may not manage to recall all the questions now. Pastor is focused on the need to change systems (people’s circumstances) in order to alleviate poverty, and seems unwilling or unable to consider how people act; my orientation is the exact opposite, wanting people to change their ways in order to alleviate poverty. Pastor says he doesn’t like it when I talk about squalor; but doesn’t squalor need to be talked about, given that it’s why “haves” won’t invest where the “have-nots” live?
I am torn between the way I want to live, and the way I have to live in the situation I’m in.
At any given moment, it may help me to have an actual reason to seek prosperity. As my moods and POV change from day to day, however, a reason that I may have believed in one day, may not be credible the next: “I’m not feelin’ it.” So I may do well to have several reasons, different ones of which may be credible on different days. Continue reading Reasons to seek prosperity→
Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.
Rough day at BK. I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all. But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave. (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined. I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.
The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.
My prayer for myself today was that I “come into a world where my diligence will be rewarded.” A related new concept, as far as the blog is concerned: efficacy — the feeling or sense that one can accomplish something. In question is whether I perceive my world that way now.
It is notable that a background of chaos militates against efficacy, and normally teaches that diligence will not be rewarded, except as it’s expressed in opportunism and predation (See “Can’t resist temptation? …” below.) A background of, or perceptions of, order, in contrast, teach the exact opposites.
One of my buds came into McDonald’s this morning looking for me. I’d not seen him in about a week. He’s in really good shape today, but it turns out that, as I’d supposed, he’d been on a bender.
We went out front to smoke and talk, and the time came for him to get on his way. I expected him to turn to go back upstairs to get his stuff. He did not. “Where’s your stuff?” I asked.
He’d lost it. Again. Everything. Kept only his I.D. and Independence card. Somewhere, sometime, while blacked out, he’d got up and left wherever he’d been, leaving behind all his belongings in a forgotten place.
In my immediately last prior post, “Me, me, me,” I said:
It’s not that I despised material possessions; I did not value them nearly as much as I (overwhelmingly) valued relationships. What I did despise was the desire for material possessions. As a result, now I have none.
Relationships are what I do have. They are my treasures in heaven. on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger
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.
(Transcribed from a letter to my mother dated 25 September 2007.)
This conversation yesterday with a co-worker astonished me.
“Peaches” is a 42-year old, very short woman, certainly a grandmother and very likely great-grandmother, who has about half her teeth. She works principally as a cashier, and is a really good worker and co-worker. She constantly teases me by pretending to flirt with me.
I was stocking the trash bags shelves, and became aware that she was in quite a pickle. Her shift was over, and she had appointments she had to keep at a certain time across town; but she also had assembled this bag full of items she needed to buy at once and before leaving the store. And the line at the cash register was quite long. (Long lines at cash register are a constant, intractable problem at this store.)
I told her facetiously, “Just go down there and push ’em all out.” She said, “No, that would be unmannerly, and that’s not like me.” (Conduct that can be called “unmannerly” is a big, big issue in this community, and a big issue for me personally since I see so much of it and find it offensive.) She went on: “Now, I like your manners. You speak to the customers …” Continue reading I really have nothing better to do→