Category Archives: Poverty

Two Jews, three opinions

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

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Work

(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

Issues with upcoming posts II

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

The dark side of EQ

(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

Issues with upcoming posts

(Originally posted 01/29/14.)

In the process of “recycling” old posts on Wednesdays(*), I am now coming upon a number of posts with which I’m not completely comfortable. I probably would not write them, now or in the future, the way I did at the time; but I’m also still not sure exactly how I’d write them differently.

At the time I wrote those posts, I supposed my homelessness would be brief, and William Tell would soon enough become a public figure able to speak to what he saw as the pressing social issues. My homelessness continues eighteen months later, and my perceptions of those issues have changed.
Continue reading Issues with upcoming posts

My homeless self: White “resentment” and black power

“Generations of slavery and discrimination make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower classes.”

Do you agree with that statement?  If not, you harbor resentment toward blacks.

That is the premise, not the conclusion, of a recent study by three political scientists.  As reported by James Goodman in the October 6, 2013 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the study’s conclusions seem indisputable.  I question its premise.  I ask whether “resentment” was the best or right thing to measure; whether this criterion statement was the best or right way to measure it; whether the criterion statement is factual, and if so, whether it matters.
Continue reading My homeless self: White “resentment” and black power

Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.

Major life changes may be imminent, including a reversal of the processes whereby I became homeless.

The correct writing for me at this time is the next several chapters of The Way of Peace. These will appear on Saturdays, but not necessarily in quick succession and not necessarily very soon. They will be brief, but are a challenge to me to write; as history shows, since they will basically be the same today as when I first conceived them in 2010.

The Way of Peace appears to be the talk I must walk.

Giving it all away

At work on Tuesday 05/08/12, the radio station they had on the PA played Genesis’ “Giving it all away.”

People see things different ways given their personal circumstances.

I know nothing about Phil Collins personally. But in all likelihood, were he to “give it all away” as he understands it, he would probably have a lot left.

Not I.

All I own is the contents of two heavy bags. Giving it all away would be a simple gesture. And afterwards, I would have nothing.

———— ♦ ————

That afternoon, as usual, as soon as I got to my bunk I sat down and got out my medications for the evening. The guy assigned to the bunk above me was a newcomer, real clean-cut, a Jake Pavelka lookalike.

“Got any goodies in those pill bottles?” he asked.

“No,” I answered.

“It’d been cooler if you’d said yes,” he said.

As usual, I put my meds back in my zipper bag when I finished, and, as usual, I locked it.

Because of guys like him.

(Originally published 05/09/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reposted 10/30/13, 12/29/16.)
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

Swimming against the tide

The Trump administration’s alternative Christianity

In recent weeks, I have become strongly motivated to become upwardly mobile. This raises theological issues.

Phil Zuckerman is a non-believer. He has no accountability to Jesus or the Scriptures. He doesn’t have to walk the Christian walk or talk the Christian talk. He doesn’t face the challenges, or have to do the work, I do as a follower of Jesus. Yet he wants to prescribe what Christianity must be.

He ascribes a certain Christianity to those who surround Donald Trump, and finds fault with it. I have no need to adopt or reject that Christianity. I have my own to practice. But it is not what Zuckerman wants to prescribe to me.

What’s wrong with Trump’s cronies? Apparently, as Zuckerman sees it, what’s wrong with them is that they’re prosperous. The love of God, as he portrays it, does not apply to prosperous people, but instead the poor. Only the poor.

So, according to the Christianity Zuckerman would prescribe for me, if I become prosperous, God won’t love me any more.

If anyone finds that he says differently from that, please advise. I welcome correction.

(Sigh.)

To walk the path to which I feel I’m called, I may need to focus on a Jesus saying Zuckerman does not cite. In fact, I have never heard any liberal cite it. Nor has it ever been cited in the chapel services at the homeless shelter where I stay; where they seem to think that all that matters is what one believes, and never what one does.

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. … So let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

In other words, do praiseworthy things.

Praiseworthy actions glorify God.

If I were to become self-supporting, would that be praiseworthy?

Might my example encourage or inspire others?

Might I even teach, by example, the ways whereby one may become self-supporting?

Would that serve God?

As to the whole thrust of liberal ideology, it appears that, if I strive to do what I feel called by God to do, I’m swimming against the tide.