Sunday night was a modern version of the 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, where seven guys from the North Side gang were murdered. Only on steroids! Las Vegas was the big one Sunday night. In Tullytown, PA, Sunday night a guy allegedly murdered his girlfriend.
Not long ago, a homeless woman was beaten up by another homeless woman, ganged up on as the assailant allegedly had an accomplice, with whom the victim had an ongoing feud, who held her while the other one punched her. Nobody tried to intervene and no witnesses came forward. The police are not exactly passionately pursing the matter. After all, the conventional wisdom in Bucks County, PA is that homeless people are supposed to act that way. Facts show otherwise. The creep who shot up people in Las Vegas lived in a retirement community, and the guy who allegedly shot his girlfriend is not homeless.
My question is “What’s going on?”
Today people seem to have a lot of anger. I’ve heard couples quarreling, parents yelling at kids… Instead of trying to work things out, have a conversation, or, when things start to get out of hand, walk away, they attack! People are concerned about self, their ego, and rather than act civilly, attack, even kill others! Rather than attack, either verbally or physically, someone I have a problem with I walk away and keep my distance from, including a member of the Suburban Ganstas who allegedly was involved in the attack of a homeless woman in Bucks County.
Blame shifting and greed, including gluttony, can trigger anger, which can translate into violence.
Because a former homeless person circulated lies about innocent people, people became hostile towards and in some cases, physically attacked them.
False rumors have been going around about a few people, including myself.
- That they are slashing people’s tents
Response to that charge:
A reliable source told me that a drug crazed guy thought his girlfriend was having relations with all the other homeless guys so he quixotically slashed every tent in the woods he came across.
- That they are verbally and through blogs badmouthing homeless people
Response to that charge:
People have stepped up and said something about individual homeless people and held them accountable for their behavior, just like they would anyone. For example, a particular homeless person came to a community meal drunk and disorderly. He verbally and physically assaulted others, on more than one occasion, cursing and disrupting meals for everyone else and on one occasion knocked someone down, causing a cut on the back of his head. The truth of this outlandish behavior was the subject of blogs.
Unlike the Bucks County establishment, the individuals charged with badmouthing the homeless call the individual, not the group (the homeless) out. As a result, the community meals have become virtually drama free, a place where friends can comfort and edify one another, the way it should be in the homeless community.
The homeless in Queen Anne Woods did not fare as well. The Chief Bucks County Ranger, Steve Long, told me the raid on the homeless was a result of complaints from neighbors who found syringes and other drug paraphernalia in the woods. There was also trash. And the rescue squad had to drag at least two druggies who overdosed out of those woods.
There are examples in other homeless areas where certain individuals created problems and caused everybody to get booted.
Group think, where people attack the whole group when an individual does something wrong or when people in the group circle the wagons and act like when someone attacks an individual in the group they are attacking all of them, is a problem. The “us against them” is counterproductive, at least in the case when individuals in the group are doing wrong and the group acquiesces. This hurts the group.
Dealing with anger
Awhile back, I read a blog in Our Daily Bread entitled Angry Prayers, where the writer showed how God can help us deal with anger. “But when we choose to cling to our anger, we become mired in the trap of bitterness, ever moving forward. And the only cure for anger is truth,” the blogger wrote.
We may be angry and think that “we don’t deserve this”. Actually, when you think of it, the blogger explained, we don’t get what we deserve. God cut us a lot of slack by not giving our sinful selves what we deserve. He showed mercy. Mercy is not giving us all the punishment we deserve, and God’s grace is Him giving us what we don’t deserve.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.“ –James 1:19,20