Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Lines, Hated Lines

Long lines infuriate me.  Especially when formed by men and women who've spent the night in "the rough" under a freeway bridge or behind some business. 

The fact that fellow human beings live without a home in one of the richest places on earth not only makes me angry, it embarrasses me.

Then, when I walk up on such a line at my place of business, you can add paralysis to my anger and embarrassment. 

Really, what am I to do? 

No way to walk past a line of human misery like this without a word. 

But what word? 

This morning I chose apology mixed with challenge as I shook hands with the two dozen very cold people who stood in line awaiting the opening of our housing center.

I touched each person in some way or another--physically. 

But that could not be the end of it.  I found myself urging them to "stay in CitySquare's  face," "get up in our grill" and demand housing placement. 

Self-incrimination seemed what the doctor ordered in view of this prevailing equation:  X minus 2X equals -X when X is housing units available and 2X  is people needing housing units. 

We brought in hot coffee service this morning. 

Charity gets us nowhere.  But it did cut against the cold this morning. 

And, being charitable of spirit may get us riled up enough to fight the injustice of that damned line in our space. 

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