Neglect is telling of negligence, and a blog telling of this tends to say very little indeed. And so, I will endeavor to say something about my experiences today.
I gave two dollars, this morning, to a unkempt man smelling of tea, whom I presume is homeless. As an existentialist-humanist, I am never quite sure if giving to the homeless is the right thing to do. To give is to support their lack of self-powered upward mobility, but to abstain is to make them work harder at ‘making it’ within their subculture of poverty. Whether that is begging with a greater tenacity, stealing, or simply growing harder in regards to physical (hunger, and comfort), and emotional callousness, it seems like here neglect is a form of violence. At the same time, their being in a dead city (dead to anyone who does not have the means or wealth to live with dignity) likely necessitates their dependence on the loose change of we, the relatively rich.
I have three beliefs in regard to the homeless problem.
- Firstly, it seems prudent for those who are able bodied to acquire gear (whether through the state, or begging, or private entities) to move into the wilderness and survive away from the currency of the city, as man once did before the new age of concrete and automobiles.
- Secondly, to conscript these able bodied persons (ideally voluntarily) into work groups, pay them, and provide for them lodging. These people could repair roads, clear rubbish, plant and care for agriculture, and other confidence/skill-building activities that lend to the greatness of the city from whence they were picked up.
- Thirdly, to create a socialist under-net to catch those who fall beneath the ‘apparatus of upward ascension’ (Capitalism). This model would preserve the capitalist model which promotes people to make better themselves and their respective communities, without damning them to a life governed by fear and the defacto ‘rule of the cold street at night’. Perhaps the second and third options are not dissimilar.
At any rate, these are just musings of a wealthy prince (I have no such title, only relative super-wealth from my having been born into a situation of rosy moral-luck) who gave a Toonie to a fellow person. The problem, with freedom and liberty in mind, is as complex as the people it pertains to, and I do not pretend to know what solutions exist.
Still… I believe these are things which we should think, and talk about.