09 10

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lady Sleeping On The Bus Stop Bench

Dear Lady Sleeping on the Bus Stop Bench:

I drive past you on my way to and from the gym each morning.

A shopping cart filled with what looks like your life's possessions is placed on the sidewalk between you (as you sleep on the bus stop bench) and the street. Most times I don't see you because you are hidden by piles of blankets. I know you are there for I saw you right when you got up one morning. There you were, folding your blankets and stacking them into your cart.

I wonder what your life was like as a infant and young child. You must have had a family. Someone must have cared for you. Where is your family now? What happened in your life that caused you to be where you are now.....each night...using the bus stop bench for a bed, which is next door to the fire station, across the street from a couple of churches, around the corner from the hospital and down the block from a city park?

Why do you choose this particular bench? Do you feel safer sleeping near the fire station fifty feet away? Surely those cute firemen with mustaches must know you. And where do you go during the day when you give up the bus stop bench?

I want to help. But I don't.

How does this happen in our blessed country of opportunity? The houses right behind you sell for at least 900K. We have large grocery stores filled to the brim with food (in fact there is a Safeway down the street from you). We have a choice of gas stations to fill up our fancy cars (some of us don't have fancy cars, but we do have a car), so we can drive to those grocery stores, or those clothing stores, or those furniture stores, or those hardware stores. All filled with lots of choices of goods to purchase.

Yet there you are each night, sleeping on a bus stop bench right next to a busy intersection. We pretend you are not there and motor on by.

Aren't there services available through the state? Or is our state in such bad financial shape...there is no help to be had? Some people say, "You did it to yourself. Go find a job. You are a lazy bum. I pay too many taxes. You don't. I don't want my taxes to be wasted on people like you. All you want is a hand out. Pick yourself up." I am sorry some people feel that way.
Haven't we been taught to be "good Samaritans" and aren't we suppose to help our neighbor? And not just the neighbors that look like us either.

I want to extend my hand to you ....but I don't...I just drive on by.


Shame. On. Me.

1 comment:

Judy said...

That is pretty sad...if we could only walk in their shoes. I wonder what people do that wait for the bus. Do they bother to help her?