I was just reading Blevins Blog. He's got a great post on Springfield's homeless issue.
If he doesn't mind my paraphrasing, I believe his point is that instead of just complaining about the situation down at Lincoln Library, we should be working towards a solution. People who need mental health care should get it ... and people who may need a hand getting a job or a residence should be given that opportunity.
After reading his post, I wanted to share a story with you all. Three weeks ago, Mom announced she wanted to drive over to Lincoln Library on Christmas Eve and give a small gift to each one of the homeless individuals. It would just be a $5 bill ... but she wanted to do something to brighten their Christmas.
She asked me to drive her so she could just pop out of the car without parking. I'll be honest ... I thought she'd forget about it so I simply brushed her comment aside and said something along the lines of, "We'll see ..."
Christmas weekend came ... and she hadn't forgotten a thing. Since I couldn't drive, her best friend took her down to the library about 7 p.m. and, as she'd planned, she passed out $5 to everyone on the plaza.
There were only about twelve people there ... but she said it was an amazing experience. She said they were all kind and very appreciative. She said giving to others was the greatest feeling in the world. Frankly, I was just happy she came away from the evening unharmed.
I'm ashamed that I wasn't more supportive of her plan. I tried to discourage her. I told her someone could easily hit her in the head and take it all. She said that was alright ... she would only be carrying a hundred dollars or so. She told me not to worry ... that her friend would be in the car with a cell phone. I told her if something went wrong, she'd be dead before a police car ever got to the scene.
Why was I so negative? I was scared for her safety ... but that doesn't make me feel any better. There are a million kind, giving souls in this world ... and maybe more things don't get done because people like me discourage them. I wish there were more people like Palmer and my Mom ... and I wish I could've seen past my own fears ... and I wish I'd had the Christmas spirit that she had.
Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard
But when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them
Instead of you
Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmastime