The quote, of course, is from Lincoln’s second inaugural address, and he was referring to the catastrophe of the Civil War and the need for reconciliation. We are using his words to introduce the theme of charities which are available to us in terms of making a donation. When I began to try and compile a list of those charities and organizations to which I have contributed I was stunned at the length of the list. As of this writing I am sure that the list is incomplete. Not only that but there are a number of worthy organizations to which I have not as yet contributed, but I hope to at a future date. My donations are small, but it is important to me to be part of the solution not simply a bystander. I sleep better at night this way.
Am I my brother’s keeper? You can turn away if you choose, but to become homeless with all that comes with it is only a paycheck away for many. Unfortunately. Desperate times require desperate measures. The lead photo we call “Feed the Children“; Holbrook, N. Y. (August 23, 2018). This is not about feeding children in a developing country. This is reality on Long Island.
Seen below is a cry for help from a person we choose to leave anonymous, “Rough Times“; Deer Park, N. Y. (September 6, 2018). We could have easily put a face on this situation, but I believe that sometimes an image can be even more powerful without including an individual. Judgment on the individual would be open for discussion. Without a face, the image represents all homeless people and so the magnitude of the problem is multiplied exponentially.
While driving around this past Saturday morning doing my weekend chores, I spied the shopping cart of a homeless person waiting for its owner’s return. Hidden in plain sight. We see them or rather we look past them preferring not to notice.
In recent years I have been approached many times by homeless people looking for a handout. Perhaps I look like an easy “mark” wearing my veteran’s baseball cap. In my younger days I would have brushed them aside and told them to get lost, or I would deliberately walk around them. All it takes is a couple of close brushes with death to change your attitude.
I must have been about eight years old when I had bad feelings that someday I might be homeless if my life did not work out for some reason. An irrational fear to be sure, but perhaps peniaphobia (fear of poverty) or kakkorraphiaphobia (fear of failure) come closest in describing these fears