“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?” ― Dorothy Day
“What we would like to do is change the world–make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute–the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words–we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbour, to love our enemy as our friend.” ― Dorothy Day
Every day I walk the streets of Prescott, talk with people at the square, with those in the park, and under bridges. I also talk with those who have jobs, and even a little with the well-to-do. And you know what I hear?
No one is happy with this country, and they haven’t been for a long time. I am not talking about Obama, Bush, or Clinton, I am talking for the past 40 years.
When you boil down what any of them are saying, they are saying they feel robbed. Robbed by loss of jobs, loss of homes, loss of families; Robbed by the government, and each other; Robbed by society. This is a sure sign that something is off in this country and indeed the world.
I say the root cause of this is lack of caring for one another, a lack of love. This lack is sometimes due to greed, and other times due to a lack of courage, a lack of courage to show love.
You might say “It doesn’t take courage to love,” but you would be wrong. It takes great courage too see someone on the street, look into his tangled beard and torn clothing, and to see him as he really is, he is your grandfather, your brother, your son, he is you, and if you are a Christian, he is your Lord “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:35-36, 40).
Cain asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?” as the above shows, the answer Christ gave us is “Yes, you are your brother’s keeper.” We each have the spark of God in us, and therefore must treat each other with the same love and respect that you would treat your God, and if you are an atheist, then with the same love and respect you would treat yourself, for “ ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: ‘…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28- 31)
If we as a people are ever to lift ourselves up out of this endless robbery of one another, we must love one another as we love ourselves. We must help one another up off of the street, must feed the hungry, must clothe and shelter those in need. And we must give jobs to those who seek work.
Through my experience I have found that the human soul seeks work, that all people seek work of some sort.
In all my years on the streets of Prescott I have never came across a single man, no matter how homeless, who did not seek to work in some way. If he was of able body, he sought physical work, if not, he sought mental or social work, and if he was not mentally able either, then the world should love him or her as they would their grandfather or grandmother, and should take them in, hug them, and make sure they get the medical help and love which they deserve.
Everyone seeks love and friends, everyone. It is only the unloved who seek it in liqueur and drugs. Sometimes they sought it because they do not love themselves. Again we must show them great love, compassion, and understanding, even if that is in the form of giving them treatment, taking them to a place that will show them love and understanding, and help them to love and understand themselves.
The current system is broken in this regard. When they see a man intoxicated on the sidewalk or “loitering” they arrest them, send them to jail where they sit time away until they are released. That does not help them in any way, it doesn’t give them real friends or show them true love, nor does it help teach them to love themselves or society.
A better system would not send them to jail; For who have they harmed? A better system would show them love, perhaps call a mental health and addiction facility who could send someone out to ask the person how they are doing and if they need a friend, someone to talk to, or someone to help get them a place to stay, a job, some schooling, and help getting their life together.
This country spends billions on building prisons, but that doesn’t address the real problem. It needs to switch that out and give mental wellness clinics the support they need to give these people new hope and teach them how to repair their lives.
Once we start loving, and helping each other, people will see how things can and will get better, how there will be less homelessness, less addiction, less stress, and more joy and love all around us.
This country needs to become a country of love, love for each other and love for ourselves. If we love one another, and help each other, in solidarity, we can accomplish great things. Instead of pushing others aside and shoving them down, in order to raise to the top above them; we can hold each others hands and rise up together. Instead of improving just our life, we can improve everyone’s life, and in doing so, improve society and life for all of us.
We see big businesses ran by a small comity of people deciding to send manufacturing jobs oversees where they can take advantage of even less fortunate people.
Why should we let the few, those committees, ruin the lives of the many, the workers? We whine “Steel is no longer produced in America!” Yet we do not stand up and produce it! We do not need companies to produce steel, we are the workers! We know how to mine it, how to melt it, how to mix it, how to strengthen it. If we come together, we can produce it. Gather all of the workers together. Together, as equals, we have the power to accomplish great things, and live without the fear of being unable to support our families due to the fear that some uncaring corporation will fire us, leaving us not knowing how we will be able to feed our families or if we will have a place to live.
We can, if we love each other, make sure that everyone wants one, has a job; that everyone has shelter, and has food. If we have a spare room, and see someone who needs one, we can invite them in; if we have extra food and see someone who is hungry, we can share our food.
It is one of the biggest crimes of this world that people should have to pay to live somewhere. If there is an unused plot of land, and there is someone who is in need of a place to live, why shouldn’t they be able to live there? If there is an empty house, slowly weathering, why not allow a family to make it a home. If there is food that no one buys or eats and is rotting, why shouldn’t hungry people be allowed to eat it? And isn’t it inhumane or unhuman to have that person starve or die of exposure, simply because they lack some paper covered in green ink or are having trouble finding a job.
We must be humane, we must be friends to our fellow humans, and love and respect one another enough to know that people deserve to live, regardless to what they do or do not have.
We should be friends of life, and cherish and honour life in all forms. We must love our neighbour, love the foreigner, love the hungry, love the homeless, love the sick, and love the prisoner. Love life in all of the forms it comes in, love people regardless to their stage of life and circumstances. For that is truly pro-life.
We must be pro-life: prolife for the sick, pro-life for the imprisoned, prolife for the homeless, prolife for the hungry, and pro-life for the jobless. Human life is important, at all stages, even the stage of homelessness, even at the stage of being in prison.
Human life matters, and we should do all we can to support it, and that includes helping each other, and making sure no one is without a home or food or work.
Once we love and respect all others, then we can grow as a society, and in solidarity, help give to each other, instead of robbing from one another.
It is up to each of us, to make a vow within our own heart, to love and respect others, and to help all around us, to live happy and productive lives. If each of us does this, then no one will feel robbed, and we will all prosper.
— Jack Danya Kemplin