Down, But Not Out

An introspective examination of the tragedy of homelessness in the richest society ever to exist on Earth

Homelessness is not an accident. Homelessness is not a problem. Homelessness is a political agenda. Why else would there be so many homeless people in the richest country that ever existed on the face of this planet.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Wasteful Society

If you are an average working stiff like most of us, do you ever wonder why you have to work your guts out year after endless year, just to stay afloat?

We live in times of almost limitless abundance and yet a large portion of the population in the industrialized countries are homeless and hungry while many more are only slightly better off. Not here, you say! Ah, but just look around you. Even rich countries like Canada and the United States are plagued with throngs of homeless people on their cities’ streets.

But why, you might ask? Surely there’s enough here for everybody.

There are two simple answers to this question.

First, even though there is an abundance of resources to draw from, they are not limitless. Every single product that you or I use depletes from the total pool of available resources. In other words, the fact that I am sitting here working on this computer is depriving someone else of the use of the computer, the desk it rests on, the chair I sit in, the clothes I’m wearing, the apartment I live in, the heat, water and electricity I use and so on, for everything I use. This is true for you too. This is the fact that limits every single person in the world. There is only so much to go around. It is abundant, but IT IS NOT LIMITLESS!

Now, it is only natural, and rightly so, that each of us is primarily concerned with our own well being and the well being of those we love. This, by no means limits our responsibility to be concerned for the well being of the billions of other inhabitants on this planet. One of the most important concepts in every religion is the dictum,”Love thy neighbour as you love thy brother.”

Would you let your brother go homeless or hungry?

“But, what can I do?” is the obvious question. Of course you can’t provide for the needs of billions of people, but you can, with little or no cost, become part of the solution and the solution rests solely on the shoulders of each individual in this society. It does not rest with governments. They are powerless, to remedy the situation. Indeed they are an integral part of the cause. Waste is the problem and governments are notorious for waste.

You can make a difference in this world. All you need to do is become “Waste Conscious.” If you will remember, every time you leave the kitchen tap running, that it took resources away from a limited pool of manpower and physical materials to provide that water. That means that somebody else’s dinner is running down your kitchen drain, NOT WATER! Just turn off the tap and you will become part of the solution.

Every time you throw an old appliance into the garbage because you bought a newer model and no longer need this old, fully functional one, you are depriving someone who can use it, who really needs it, from its use. Just donate it to one of the many agencies available and you will become part of the solution.

Instead of throwing away that old dress you no longer wear, just donate it and you will become part of the solution and God will love you for it. And if you don’t believe in God, the person who receives it will love you even if she has never met you.

Every time you leave your car engine running, you are not only polluting the air we all breath, you are wasting the fuel that otherwise may have gone to provide heat for one of the poor people in this world who die annually from exposure. Think about it. Do you really want to be responsible for the suffering of those less fortunate than you are?

Get the idea? A simple change in your thinking will improve the lots of countless others for the rest of your life, and as the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” Sooner or later the benefits you bestow upon others come back to you a thousand fold and your life will become better. So, remember, it costs nothing to “Become WASTE CONSCIOUS and save the world.”


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