I was remembering yesterday about an event from when I was in my twenties. I was sitting on a hard wooden bench waiting for a train to take me to my parents’ hometown from Grand Central Station in NY City. I looked around myself and saw homeless women living there. The view took a while to sink into my being. Then I couldn’t stand it. I signaled and said that everyone should follow me. I then mentioned that everyone following me needed to keep the door open on the bathroom stall that I unlocked using money so that each other person could use the toilet. Then I taught ways to wash whole bodies including hair at sinks using sink soap and water. Yes, I could have been jailed or have paid a fine for my actions if caught. I don’t care.
Some of my Catholic and Quaker friends have been in prison due to acts of conscience. So it goes when people stand up for that which is right and no one can tell me that nearly starving homeless women have no right to use a toilet or clean themselves. I refuse that inhumane vision. I will not dismiss the lives of dismissed others and I can fight efforts to Indirectly harm them.
There is only so much visible suffering that someone can endure watching before stepping in to act. Then the observer gets very clear about the situation. After all how many intolerable grievances can a person endure witnessing before offering to help?
Do I care about the homeless women’s political or religious leanings or none in the case of the ones getting senile? Emphatically no. Do I concern myself with the fact that some may be lesbians, bisexual or not sexual? Again, emphatically no. Instead my leaning, shoulder to the wheel, is to serve life going forward as best as I can muster. It’s that simple.
Incidentally I like my state’s two Senators. I respect and admire them. However, my House representative, Jim McGovern, is especially incredible. He walks on his birthday and at least one day thereafter 40 miles or so to shore up MA’s weakest food bank.
My friend, Janet Ward, started the Worcester food bank. My daughter, eight years old at the time, and I volunteered there. Janet and I trained my daughter to be up to par for the task. It was fun. You get to meet all sorts of interesting people and simultaneously know as a volunteer that your effort is helping others. How easy is that? Plenty easy.
I’m happy when I find others that agree with my views and act on them. Good article that ratifies my position:
Standing Up to Trump . . . and Biden
Robert Koehler: Humanity in the streets, humanity Certain in the face of power, refusing to accept such blatant gaming and dismissal of actual democracy
Sally Dugman writes from MA, USA.