“I see the bad moon arising. I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightnin’. I see those bad times today.
Don’t go around tonight, Well it’s bound to take your life, There’s a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes a blowing. I know the end is coming soon. I fear rivers over flowing. I hear the voice of rage and ruin.”
— Bad Moon Arising, Credence Clearwater Revival
“We all have baggage,” said a former homeless guy in lower Bucks County, PA. Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in getting your act together. When he was homeless, he learned how to deal with his baggage, and as a result was able to improve conditions for himself and fellow homeless.
If left unchecked, our “baggage”, our addictions, anti-social behavior and other problems, can lead to destruction. I know, I’ve been there. I also know that it isn’t too late. It wasn’t in my case.
And Carol King’s thesis “it’s too late, baby it’s too late…” doesn’t apply to my homeless friend who is getting treatment for alcoholism. He fell down, but he is not out. People who have been there before are helping him help himself.
He was one of the clowns who caused the homeless to be banned for a time from the Levittown Veteran’s Memorial when they were drunk and disorderly. The others involved have continued their destructive behavior.
The homeless don’t have to be that way, just because they are homeless. People have choices.
My friend is starting to fully realize that he can’t make it on his own. I occasionally remind him that there’s no such thing as the Lone Ranger Christian. He is on the right path and has made the right choice. Some of us have been encouraging him, despite his occasional urge to think he’s strong enough to leave the nest, to stay on the right track.
This time of year, with all the crass materialism static from the money grubbers who hijacked Christmas (they are the real Grinch who stole Christmas) to use it as a means to their ends, it’s important to know the real reason for the season.
What’s it’s all about, Alfie, is taking to heart God’s sacrifice for sinners and showing concern, compassion for others, especially the less fortunate. And it’s just not about material things. Some people are down spirited, especially this time of year.
It’s been said that depression is high during the Christmas season. A lot of it has to do with the emptiness of materialism and people feeling like nobody cares. The Christmas hype just doesn’t cut it!
Instead of envy, pettiness and fighting, people need to help and edify one another. At a community meal for the homeless and those in need, someone at my table questioned why the homeless are bickering with one another when they could be working together. I agree.
Greed, which runs rampant this time of year, alienates people and causes problems.
Compare Frank Norris’s McTeaque, about the social problems that resulted from the greed of the Gold Rush era, with John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the novel about how a homeless family worked with others in their plight. In McTeaque, greed caused contention between individuals, just as does some of today’s homeless people who want all the booze or cigarettes.
Gluttony is a form of greed that causes problems. After I lost my house, I was invited to live rent free in a house in exchange for taking handicapped people to their doctor’s appointments and shopping and doing various chores around the property. One of them incessantly demanded I pick up monster drinks and other small items for her, in addition to weekly shopping.
A showdown came two days after our weekly shopping, which included picking up a few pounds of lunch meat for two people. The glutton wanted me to take them shopping again because they pigged out and finished the lunch meat in two days! I put my foot down and said “no.” There was other food in the house, but they demanded their lunch meat.
The glutton told me her father-in-law, who owns the house, would pick up the lunch meat. Shortly thereafter, after I schlepped many bags of food into the house after weekly shopping, the old man, a retired Brown Shirt with the United Auto Workers Union, told me I wasn’t shopping for his son and daughter-in-law as agreed and demanded I “get out and take your stuff, before I throw it out!” This guy is Jeff Dunham’s Walter on steroids!
In the Steinbeck novel, people worked together as a team in order to survive their ordeal.
When I first started hanging around the homeless about 1 1/2 years ago, they helped one another — with food and shelter, and schooled them where they could go for assistance and were there for moral support.
One free walk in program I’d recommend, which has helped me get rid of my baggage that weighs me down is the 12 steps journey, held Tuesday evenings in Levittown and Saturday nights in Newtown. http://www.12stepjourney.com/ See schedule on link.
All people matter, including the homeless. When the bad moon rises over the homeless, don’t moon them but encourage them to improve themselves. I’d encourage everyone to dump bad baggage.