The Homeless & The Car-less & The Less/Lessness of Life

Fundamental Human Rights Joan Winifred

Standards of living vary globally. Basic human fundamental needs don’t, however. (We all need to breathe, eat, sleep. What air we breathe, what food we consume and where we lay…differs greatly.) For example, there exists “first world problems”…then there are (for lack of better aka more appropriate term(s)) i’ll say “less-than-first world” problems. (Who’s to say first shouldn’t be last and that the last should be first? (not me!))

Annoyances and inconveniences aka “problems” in lands of more (luxury)…would most likely be a blessing in the lands of less (poorer regions). Yet, in so-called lands of more, you still see homelessness & car-less-ness & less-ness in general. (Why? is that? Greed? Lack of education? Bad Government? Non-compassion?)

Read recently the following that got me thinking and appreciating my own lot in life…such as i have a (family) vehicle that pretty much runs…though, had a problem today/annoyance: it broke down/ran out of gas…en route this morning. Good thing was able to get the little girls off to school okay…had extra gas…my son funneled it in the tank…still wouldn’t start…so, my older kids and i got some extra exercise and walked home: change of plans. We have Triple A and my son had his cell…battery dead, though -lol;)

Of course, Chato!:) was able to get the car running right away, HOORAY! & THANK YOU!:)

Getting back to recent readings that help us/me find contentment/satisfaction/appreciation for what we do indeed have:

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/an-embedded-photographer-empowers-the-poor/?_r=0

Scenes of poverty are inescapable in a country like Bangladesh, where Western media and charities use them to generate outrage, sympathy and — sometimes — donations. That bothered Shehab Uddin, a former newspaper photographer in Bangladesh who knew there was more to the story than downtrodden people victimized by poverty, not to mention photojournalists.

“When photographers visit a country like Bangladesh we don’t bother to ask permission from the people we want to photograph,” Mr. Uddin said. “We have the power, with thousands of dollars of gear, nice clothes and a good education, and we think we have every right to photograph.”

Mr. Uddin not only asked permission to photograph poor people. He also moved in with several families and later had them help select the images that he would exhibit in their neighborhoods.

i appreciate the point about: those in power (those with more of whatever) assuming/presuming they have the right to photograph whatever or whomever without permission from those who may have less (power)…(nobody has the right to trample on anyone…rich or poor.) Those of us with big feet need to be careful not to step on little toes, eh? (Or those of us with big mouths (i.e. joanie) have to watch what we/i say, eh? YEAH! oh, and how i say it.)

Notice this excerpt of the above-mentioned New York Times article..which really struck a heart/tear/nerve with me:

Mr. Uddin lived with Jarina and her mentally disabled teenage daughter, Mali, outside a Dhaka railway station. She had grown up on the streets, and her two other children had died from illnesses while her husband, a rickshaw driver, abandoned her. She has survived by begging, stealing, working as a maid and, now, collecting recyclable bottles, cans and wire.

Because Mali, 15, has wandered off and gotten lost, Jarina resorted to chaining her to the spot where they live, an action that at first deeply disturbed Mr. Uddin.

“A 14-year-old girl being chained from morning to evening looks inhumane and cruel, but this is completely out of love,” he said. “They don’t have anyone to take care of her where she can be safe, and the mother has to work or they don’t eat.”

Mr. Uddin spent weeks with them, sleeping against a wall or going home to his family late at night but returning early the next morning. Jarina thinks of him as her son, she said recently in an interview at the railway station, and he calls her Auntie. They often talk about problems the mother and daughter face.

Jarina has never asked him for money, but Mr. Uddin helped Mali get medical care, which resulted in a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He paid for her medication.

“It’s what you do for a family member,” he said.

 Reading this again…brings me to tears:( …how many people walk by them or have seen them on the street? (If i walked by, would i stop to talk? to help? What would i do IF i were chained to a wall day and night??)

You can check out the photos & sentiments of Jarina & Daughter here: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/an-embedded-photographer-empowers-the-poor/#slideshow/100000003531375/100000003531396

(The next time when: i feel (a little) sorry for myself or complain about any/petty problems/annoyances/less-ness…hoping i will remember Jarina:) and her daughter:) They are in my prayers.)

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: ‘Share your bread with the hungry, bring the poor and homeless into your house, clothe someone naked when you see him.’—Isaiah 58:7.

Think about it: IF everybody globally applied this practical, Biblical-compassionate-counsel, would we see homelessness and less ness aka not enough food, clothing, housing, etc.?!

PEOPLE become homeless for various reasons. Some, like Joe, experience personal tragedies. Others, like Martín, simply opt out of “normal” life, seeing it as a meaningless routine. Still others become homeless because of poverty, natural disasters, domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness, a lack of affordable housing, or loss of employment.

Once thought to be limited to developing lands or those battered by war or economic depression, homelessness has “emerged as a major social issue in most developed nations,” says psychology professor Paul Toro.  Contributing factors may include government policies regarding aid to low-income families and a widening gap of income inequality.

Many people are anxious about tomorrow. Some, however, have lessened their anxiety by considering what the Bible says about the future—[…]. The Bible can also help us now by giving us sound principles to live by—principles that enhance both our economic security and our emotional health, as Joe and Martín discovered for themselves. (Excerpted article: Hope for The Homeless and Poor AWAKE! May 2015)

Government is a major theme of the Bible…good-compassionate (non-corrupt) government a solution.

Jesus made God’s Kingdom the focus of his teaching. (Luke 4:43) He even taught people to pray: “Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) What will life on earth be like when God’s Kingdom is in full control? The Bible gives us appealing previews. For example, it says of the subjects of God’s Kingdom:

  • “They will build houses and live in them, and they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build for someone else to inhabit, nor will they plant for others to eat. . . . The work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.”—Isaiah 65:21, 22.

  • “They will sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken.”—Micah 4:4.

That sure hope can buoy us up during our trials. At the same time, Bible principles can help us to live meaningful and satisfying lives even now, as Joe, Martín, and many others have discovered. (Excerpted article: Hope for The Homeless and Poor AWAKE! May 2015)

Global governments have made countless ridiculous laws that have caused (and are causing) the suffering (and not solutions) of millions…by contrast various Bible “principles” (on various topics) have aided millions even those living under rigid regimes…check out these practical principles on economics: (Excerpted article: Hope for The Homeless and Poor AWAKE! May 2015)

PRINCIPLES THAT CAN IMPROVE ECONOMIC SECURITY

Avoid unnecessary debt. “The borrower is a slave to the lender.”—Proverbs 22:7.

Beware of get-rich-quick schemes. “The naive person believes every word, but the shrewd one ponders each step.”—Proverbs 14:15; 22:26, 27.

Be a diligent worker. “The lazy person has his cravings, yet he has nothing, but the diligent one will be fully satisfied.”—Proverbs 13:4.

Exercise self-control. “A drunkard and a glutton will come to poverty.”—Proverbs 23:21.

Have a balanced outlook. “Give me neither poverty nor riches.”—Proverbs 30:8, 9.

Be generous, not stingy. “The generous person will prosper.”—Proverbs 11:25.

 

i’m tryin’ to be generous, diligent, and balanced…:)

 

(published 2/27/15 @12:53 p.m.)