Letters to the Editor

Show empathy by helping the homeless bounce back

Human kind is in serious trouble. Collectively, our ability to feel empathy for each other, let alone other creatures, has dropped to a dangerously low level.

For your information, empathy is the ability to feel the pain of others and to show compassion.

Nowhere is this lack of empathy more visible than in the ways we treat those "less fortunate" than ourselves -- the impoverished and the homeless, the "bottom rung" of every societal ladder, the "lowest class."

Please be assured that no one chooses to be homeless, living on the streets. Something drives them there, whether a job loss, foreclosure, unexpected illness/accident or other circumstances.

For veterans, it is often the demons of their military service that causes them to fear being around their own families. Alcoholism and drug abuse and are often the result of homelessness, not the cause.

A number of homeless even receive monthly disability checks and legal prescriptions for both mental and physical ailments. They are homeless because someone along the way dropped the ball.

We owe each other the decency of counseling to help clear away the pain of trauma and to remind people of their worth to the whole. We all need that sometimes.

While it's a fact that every ladder has a bottom rung and every society its lowest class, we could certainly raise the minimum standards for all humans to include housing/shelter and training to ensure everyone's success, no matter their level.

Getting off the streets is hard and it can't be done without support from others.

Remember, even cave men had caves to protect them from the dangers of the night, the scary sounds, the shadows in the trees, the fear and stress of being set upon by someone or something while you sleep. Wouldn't you want someone to help you?

Marie Devine

Bradenton

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