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.
Continue reading Resolution
Miscellaneous notes about accepting bad feelings.
[Second in a series.]
One afternoon some years back, I hooked up with my bud Brian Williard at the Light Street McDonald’s. We were there for maybe half an hour, and then set out eastbound on Baltimore Street towards the shelters where we stayed. I stay at one, and he stayed at another about 100 yards farther east.
We walked and talked, and he talked, and he talked, and a lot of what he talked about wasn’t necessarily of much interest to me. It came to me: “I’m doing ministry; he needs this.” Finally, he said, “It’s such a relief to talk to somebody sane.”
Continue reading Accepting revulsion 2: Life in the looney bin
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.
Continue reading Rough day at BK
A basic tenet I’ve maintained here, is that one’s feelings are largely independent of one’s circumstances; and that one can typically choose how to feel, no matter what one’s circumstances are.
Well, maybe not always.
But for sure, feelings come on that one will not like, that have no relationship to anything that’s happened in the real world. How to deal with them?
Continue reading Keep the feeling, change the thought
Some weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon just after check-in at the mission, I became clairvoyant for a few seconds, and saw many things.
The first insight was that many things I’ve been saying for a long, long time — teachings, theories, hypotheses — are far more factual than I’d ever supposed.
The last thing that came displeased me. It said, “God has a purpose for my being [at the shelter], and I’ll never get away until it’s accomplished.”
What progress I have made since then has come from acting on the “things I’ve been saying for a long, long time.” The Way of Peace was composed in 2010; I don’t know whether I’ve yet posted here all that was composed at time; I’m know there’s still a lot that I have yet to post; but it’s the basic teachings in there, including those already set forth, that I’ve been called to act on.
Yesterday afternoon on the walk back to the shelter, I was using — for the first time in months — techniques perhaps first set forth in “Paying my dues …,” first published in 2013.
The teaching set forth in “Simple,” I have been working to live out. I found the quotation in an e-mail I sent various people in 2007, telling them it epitomized what I believed Jesus actually taught.
Walking my talk, or learning to: that may be what’s keeping me at the shelter. Once I’m walking my talk enough, I may be free.
Previous post: Job search
Next post: Job search report 03/01/17
As of March 7, I will have been homeless five years.
This morning I took first concrete steps to get myself into transitional housing.
This is essential if I’m to get job. For some time, I’ve been living off life insurance policy proceeds, but in the near future, that money will run out. It’s urgent that I get an income.
The shelter where I’ve been staying is extremely comfortable, perhaps too comfortable, but it has very rigid hours that make it nearly impossible to hold a job while one stays there. Currently, having to carry my two heavy bags and backpack with me wherever I go, severely limits my ability to commute. Transitional housing will spell having a place where I can stash my stuff, and freedom to come and go as I please. I will, for example, be able to take a night job.
Related: Obstacles to my prosperity
Continue reading Hope and vision
On Tuesday 12/02, my therapist asked for a thumbnail summary of my overall situation.
I said, “I have goals, I’m taking concrete steps toward those goals, and I have a ton of hope.”
I know no way to account for this but the exact scenario I set forth in “Chaos overwhelms the poor:” I pay attention only to the concrete here-and-how, and to what I myself can do. (Related: Here – Now – Can.) From the farthest reach of my right fingertip to my right, to the farthest reach of my left fingertip to my left: within that range lies all my responsibility, everything that I can control. Here, the world appears orderly. Here, I can order and manage my affairs. Here I have power. I can act effectively. I can easily find hope.
A ton of hope.
Continue reading Status report: A snapshot of my life right now
(Originally posted 05/18/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.)
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
“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