Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hero vs. Homeless

Over the semester, I have come to look forward to Wednesday evenings, when I am able to give back to my community. I am able to hear stories from people who have seen so much but have so little. While I’m there, it doesn’t matter where I’ve been or where they’ve come from, it just matters that we’re all there now – together. It’s just like in “Shane,” where no one knows where Shane came from or what he’s been through, but it doesn’t really matter. The Starrett family believes Shane is dangerous, but “not to us.” Just like the people downtown, who come to our Care-A-Van – they could be dangerous, but not to us. We are just there, to keep them company and talk, or to simply just give them a meal. It’s amazing to think how many misconceptions there are about Baltimore and the people of Baltimore. Sure, there is crime in Baltimore, but there is crime everywhere. If every person who has misconceptions about Baltimore and/or people who are homeless, I feel they should spend one evening volunteering with Care-A-Van, they would learn that there are many people out there like Shane. There are many people who are conceived as dangerous or harmful are really sweet, loving people that can teach you a lot about yourself and the world around you. It’s somewhat strange that when you compare the people of Baltimore that I experience during Care-A-Van to a fictional hero such as Shane, they are quite similar. They are, indeed, mysterious and misunderstood, but also kind, caring and incredible story tellers, even if the stories aren’t about themselves. The people I meet at Care-A-Van and Shane are very similar people, but why is one group considered a nuisance to society and one is a hero? The only difference they have is their work, so work can really be the determining cause of whether you’re a hero or a waste? Shane helps the Starrett family and succeeds at everything he does for them. He pulls out tree stumps no problem, but with the same personality as a homeless man. The homeless man more than likely has a job, just isn’t paid as well as he should be, and therefore lives on the street. No citizen wants to hear their story, and they just drive past that homeless man’s bed on the bench assuming he has no job and got there by using drugs and drinking. But because so many people think he is jobless, they assume he is worthless. So, does it not really matter who you are as a person? And only matter what you give back to society? Is that was really takes a person from a homeless man to a hero? If that’s the case, then some of these homeless men and women I’ve met are bigger hero’s than Shane and need to be in a book just as great, because they work so hard for so little. We set up our stand by 5:45, most days, and people from come all over saying they just got off work and they work from 7-5, yet still somehow can’t afford a meal, they still have to dive into the system of welfare for money, because the job they work so hard for does not pay them enough money. They get paid minimum wage for jobs that people with houses and daily meals would never settle for, because it’s either too dirty or too much extraneous activity. Without these people society considers nuisances, we would be the one’s working in these undesirable places for a very low wage, yet we are not thankful for them or grateful or give back to them like they deserve. They stand on the corner on their day off begging for money because it’s the end of the month, their welfare check is gone and their paycheck has gone to pay bills, or for their children, but we assume it’s because they are worthless beggars. Shane didn’t deserve to have his character judged preemptively, and neither do the people in poverty. Always assume the best in people, and even if you feel they are dangerous, just imagine, “not to us.”

No comments:

Post a Comment