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feministmama
02-15-2008, 11:46 PM
I am so sadened to hear the voices inthe thread about panhandlers that I thought I should start my own thread.

see I'm a grad student in education and my advisor thinks it would be a great idea to write about knitting and education. I'm a feminist and I believe in educating adults to be enlightened witnessess to the oppressive culture of domination we live in and use educaiton to make positive changes in our lives. That's what MLK was all about. He was trying to build a Beloved Community of people who could see how our culture was killing our spirit and he worked to educate us to have compassion for one another to create a better world.

I want to study knitting groups and how they learn to develop compassionfor one another andfor thse in thier communities (by knitting blankets, hats, etc)

Now that may be mushy for some of you but for me I believe its possible. You see I see panhandlers on the side of the road and I feel compassion for them. It is not my place to judge them. THey are there for whatever reason. If they feel like stealing money or asking for it is the only way they know how to make it in this world then who am I to judge? I mean they are standing out there in the cold and the rain, all day, breathing in car fumes and what not. While I get to drive past them to buy wholesome food to eat in my warm house. Who am I to judge? If anything they need our love and compassion, not our scorn. Scorn is probably what got them in thier situation in the first place.

And using terms like "those people" removes ourselves from them and thier plight. We could all become homeless, disabled or any number of unfortunate situations at any minute. Who are we to judge? I mean we are all stuck on thisplanet together. If Marsians came down to take over, they don't care who is homeless or black or gay or whatever. They will take us ALL. So as human beings all we have is this planet and each other. We need to take care of one another and care for one another becasue we are all we have.

OK I'm coming off my soap box and taking a deep breath.

Discuss.........

kellycarr05
02-15-2008, 11:48 PM
:hug: Amen!

auburnchick
02-16-2008, 12:13 AM
I think that we have all become cynical. It's not necessarily that we lack compassion.

My dh is in law enforcement, and I used to work at a law enforcement agency where I saw every arrest record that came through that place. You would just be amazed at the amount of fraud and deception that goes on in one tiny corner of the world (I do not live in a very big city).

I don't think everyone is judgmental. People are just cautious.

I've heard of people who offered to give someone a sack of food, but the person does not want that. They want money. Who's to say if they are going to spend it on alcohol or drugs? Should we be contributing to their addiction?

There are so many charity organizations and churches around that are more than willing to help destitute people. I'm sure that pride keeps many from entering those doors. But still...

I think your paper will be wonderful, and you sound like a person with the most gentle of hearts.

:hug:

ArtLady1981
02-16-2008, 12:54 AM
Good words, feministmama! :thumbsup:

And I'd like to add a little to the subject: When a panhandler asks for money...if you don't want to give money...or if you truly have no cash money either...just say no. Don't offer an alternative. Offering an alternative 'gift' can give offense to a panhandler. They didn't ask for food, they asked for money. Politely say no...or say nothing at all...and no eye-rolling...and move on...and judge not.

That's my 2 cents worth. :shrug:

I hope I don't get into trouble for offering my 2 cents.
No offense intended towards anyone. My 2 cents is just worth about that much! Two cents. I'm not posting as a repercussion to anyone else's 2 cents worth.

knitncook
02-16-2008, 12:02 PM
While we have some panhandlers in our town, there aren't that many. My children got an eye-opening experience when we were in Portland (OR) last month and saw many many (in comparison to where we live) panhandlers on the streets. We've had some very frank discussions about them and how they may have gotten into those situations. I've had to answer questions like, "Why don't they just go get a job" and "Don't they have someone, anyone, that they can live with." Those are hard questions. But I try to answer them with compassion and understanding. I always remind them of my favorite Elvis quote, "Don't judge a man, son, unless you've walked a mile in his shoes." Which of course reminds me of the Elvis we saw in Portland down on Burnside St who had his guitar and amplifier and stood out singing Elvis songs for coins in his guitar case.

We talk openly and honestly about poverty and its many forms.

I like how you are studying the compassion of knitters. What an excellent idea!

knitncook
02-16-2008, 12:05 PM
Good words, feministmama! :thumbsup:

And I'd like to add a little to the subject: When a panhandler asks for money...if you don't want to give money...or if you truly have no cash money either...just say no. Don't offer an alternative. Offering an alternative 'gift' can give offense to a panhandler. They didn't ask for food, they asked for money. Politely say no...or say nothing at all...and no eye-rolling...and move on...and judge not.


Excellent words! I know people who say, "Well, if I give him money he's just going to go drink it all." OK, so? But he may go buy a sandwich or food or a jacket at Goodwill or his bus fare to get to the homeless shelter. I rarely give any money, only because I don't carry cash often. I have given a jacket to a homeless guy once. I had an old jacket of dh's in the backseat and it was that horrible sleeting rain that we sometimes get and he had nothing on but a t-shirt. He was quite thankful and it was totally impulsive.

iza
02-16-2008, 12:46 PM
I couldn't agree more with you, feministmama. Compassion has a chance of changing the world - cynicism and judgment will never do anything useful.

Your subject is absolutely fascinating. It would be a great subject for a magazine don't you think? I would love to read about a subject like that! :cheering:

One thing I'm wondering is the "kind" of compassion people develop. As you say, knitting groups, as any communities, allow people to develop compassion for one another. Which is awesome! But does it help to develop compassion for other groups, that can be far from them? I suppose knitters are representative of the society, so I would think some are more compassionate than others about different groups. But I know for me, I think I do have more compassion to homeless people now that I'm a knitter. Knitting deals mostly with making items that are warm and comfortable. Items that are essential to survive here in the winter. These are things I can easily knit, and that can make all the difference in the world. Because knitting has to do with an essential need of human beings, I think it did give me the opportunity to see situations with a different eye.

Anyways, just wanted to share with you my thoughts on the subject! :teehee:

auburnchick
02-16-2008, 01:58 PM
Ever since I took up knitting, I think of my dad. After he died in 2001, I found out that he used to go out and distributed gloves to the homeless on the street. I never, ever knew that about him. One day, after I learn how to make them, I would like to carry on my dad's giving.

I do think that is one great thing about knitting. It provides a practical outlet to exercise compassion. We give without expecting anything in return and to people who, most of the time, cannot offer anything in return.

feministmama
02-16-2008, 02:52 PM
Excellent words! I know people who say, "Well, if I give him money he's just going to go drink it all." OK, so? But he may go buy a sandwich or food or a jacket at Goodwill or his bus fare to get to the homeless shelter. I rarely give any money, only because I don't carry cash often. I have given a jacket to a homeless guy once. I had an old jacket of dh's in the backseat and it was that horrible sleeting rain that we sometimes get and he had nothing on but a t-shirt. He was quite thankful and it was totally impulsive.

I heard this story from one of my student: She was with some friends going to a bar when they were stopped by a homeless person asking for spare change. One of her friends said "No way, you're just going to go use it to get drunk" What irony. So they "deserve" to go drinking but a homeless person doesn't.

feministmama
02-16-2008, 02:54 PM
Ever since I took up knitting, I think of my dad. After he died in 2001, I found out that he used to go out and distributed gloves to the homeless on the street. I never, ever knew that about him. One day, after I learn how to make them, I would like to carry on my dad's giving.


What a nice story. I love stuff like this.:heart:

photolady
02-17-2008, 11:51 AM
I am so sadened to hear the voices inthe thread about panhandlers

and how they learn to develop compassionfor one another andfor thse in thier communities (by knitting blankets, hats, etc)



Is there compassion in here for born again Christians?

Is there tolerance for our beliefs, just like there is tolerance for the beliefs and practices of Muslims, Hindus, new agers of all kinds,
etc..?
Show me the love. I care about each of you, and I post my views in here, yet, I get very little support.
Think about why that is.
If you all have compassion and caring, then why do you kill other humans, but save whales?
Why spay feral cats, spending lots of money on that, btw, instead of
focusing on education homeless panhandlers?
If a person has an education, and a supportive family, that loves them and shows them "how to fish, instead of handing them a fish",
that person can build a business or organization that will be able to offer free education, supplies, foods, clothes, for people who have been told they are forever victims, and must live their lives being prostituted out, either by panhandling for someone else, or by selling their body.
This lie of being a victim needs to stop.
Instead of being perpetrated endlessly, the victim mentality needs to be stopped.
Some of you in here have no compassion for me, one who advocates and practices "if a man/woman won't work, they should not eat", which, the roots are of love for homeless people.
I feel for homeless people, but, I don't have the money to educate them all or to teach them all useful skills. I have what I have, which is the ability to enlighten others in the ways of self-sufficiency.
Self-sufficiency is liberating.
Feminists yelled that for years. Get mom away from her children, away from her awful, oppressive husband, and make her earn a paycheck, and NOT be the victim.
I agree. Get people away from oppressive, lying manipulative society which tells them they are entitled to have someone else "take care" of them forever, and teach them how to be NON-victims.
How to take care of themselves.
WHY HAVE REHAB centers, if your goal is to keep the panhandlers dependent upon others?
Why do some people need to keep others tied to their "apron strings" in order to feel useful?
I think you are more useful if you help a panhandler get UP and learn useful coping mechanisms, learn how to handle tough situations in life, learn how to get themselves independent.
Answer this:
What is wrong with a person being self sufficient, and independent, and making their own decisions? What's wrong with a person being free of government handouts, and feeling pride and strength and self confidence, because they own their own home, or apt. pay their own bills, buy their own food, and have worked hard to bring themselves up out of destitution?
Answer: nothing is wrong with that.
If liberals are so compassionate, then educate the homeless, cut the umbilical cord of freebies, if they insist on being a panhandler, after being educated and given some decent clothes and dental care.
If you are so compassionate, then LIFT the burden of oppression you have placed upon them, and get your foot off their backs, and let them have dignity, and an honest way to earn money.

ArtLady1981
02-17-2008, 03:03 PM
Ever since I took up knitting, I think of my dad. After he died in 2001, I found out that he used to go out and distributed gloves to the homeless on the street. I never, ever knew that about him. One day, after I learn how to make them, I would like to carry on my dad's giving.

I do think that is one great thing about knitting. It provides a practical outlet to exercise compassion. We give without expecting anything in return and to people who, most of the time, cannot offer anything in return.

What a wonderful man your father was! :heart: A totally compassionate human being. Thanks for sharing his story with us!

photolady
02-17-2008, 03:09 PM
Good words, feministmama! :thumbsup:

or if you truly have no cash money either...just say no. .and no eye-rolling...and move on...and judge not.




Why would someone roll their eyes at a panhandler? That's passive aggressive behavior, and judgementalism.
I agree, just say no. And hope they back off.

photolady
02-17-2008, 03:12 PM
One thing I'm wondering is the "kind" of compassion people develop. I would think some are more compassionate than others about different groups.


Interesting comment. What kinds of compassion are there?
How many different kinds of compassion exist?

How can you tell if someone is more compassionate than another, without being judgemental?

And, if you do decide someone is less compassionate than someone else, what is the remedy for the less compassionate person?

jdee
02-17-2008, 03:23 PM
Why spay feral cats, spending lots of money on that, btw, instead of focusing on education homeless panhandlers?

Please believe me when I say that I'm writing this with all due respect, and not a bit of argumentativeness.
My husband and I have spayed/neutered a colony of feral cats in our neighborhood, and continue to feed and care for them. I do this because I LOVE these cats as if they were my own children. I've just always had a huge place in my heart for the homeless, abandoned animals of this world. This is something that is extremely important to me, and while I can't save every single one of them, I can at least help the ones on my street.

Anyway, the only reason I say this is because it's not only liberals who do this. I'm a Christan, a conservative, and I vote republican. But I still love animals, and try to care for them when I can. Not only liberals do this. I haven't helped many homless people, because I live in a small town, and don't remember ever seeing anyone panhandling. I can't say what I'd do in that case, because I've never been face with it.

I hope I'm not making a mess of this, because I don't wish to argue at all. I can't argue a point if I've never been faced with the decision. I think I was just pointing out, that you can't just lump people into catagories, by saying that if you love animals, you are a liberal. Please PM me anytime if you want to talk further. I'm not offended, and I hope I didn't just offend you.

brendajos
02-17-2008, 04:21 PM
http://www.utterz.com/~u-NTAzMzU0Nw/utt.php

KnittingNat
02-17-2008, 05:00 PM
I don't believe anyone in this forum should tag her/himself or others as a religious/conservative/liberal etc. as a reason of doing things for others. I think we all can help other people or animals in need, without "despite" and "only liberals...". When a homeless receives a meal or a dog gets a home, they don't care who you are. All they know is that you're compassionate. And each individual should be as compassionate as she/he can. I can't bring food to the homeless, because i try not to spend too much on my own food. But i did take 2 cats, one from the street and one who could end there and a dog that was injured and could've probably end up in the shelter. I don't want to be tagged as "liberal" or "conservative". I'm doing the best i can. I think a person that truly loves animals truly understands compassion, because they can't talk or panhandle. If talking to my 14-year old neighbor about the results of having unprotected sex at that age with a 25-year old guy, helps her in not doing it, then i'm happy because i helped someone and didn't stand and watch from the side how someone's life gets ruined.
I hope we can all keep being just human beings, in the best part of it and not the worst that we get to see on TV every day.

Getting of my soapbox now...

sheldon
02-17-2008, 07:25 PM
I posted this in another OT topic, but this thread was also cited by members so it applies here as well:

Hey everyone.

A few members have brought this thread to my attention with concern for the direction it is heading. Please keep your discussion civil and friendly and constructive. People are bound to have disagreements and that is fine. However attacking, condemning, and/or mocking other members beliefs and ideals is not OK here. If this thread continues to head in that direction is will get "da lock!" So please keep it nice.

Thanks,

Sheldon

willowangel
02-17-2008, 07:53 PM
I, too, believe that you don't have to be liberal to love animals, or conservative to have faith. I think that, if we can just try to help each other out a little bit along the way then we're doing well.

I'm one of *those* people that lives on state benefits. It's taken me a long time to not be ashamed of it, and I'm still not all the way there. Because of various disabilities I am unable to work, but they're 'invisible' disabilities and little-understood ones. While there are specialists that understand my condition, average doctors tend to think I'm just whining. If the incapacity benefit reform comes, it's people like me that will be screwed. I got sick at 19, before I had paid any national insurance, before I'd had a proper job. I am glad that I live in a society where financial aid is available to the sick, because otherwise I would have been one of those people who didn't deserve to eat. I would have been homeless, starved and died, and I am aware constantly that there are many countries in the world where that would have been my short life. I feel lucky, not just because of my experience, to live in a society where we help the sick and the disadvantaged, where they are not left to suffer and die if they don't have the resources, financial, physical or mental, to support themselves. I think it is the mark of a civilised society. I am fully aware of the people who abuse the system, they are the ones that give people like me a bad name, but their numbers are small in comparison to the number of people saved by the system.

Most of us who live on these benefits would love the chance at a normal life, would like to be able to moan about our jobs and get the sense of achievement when we got a paycheque. I avoid reunions and suchlike because I don't want people to see me as one of those people you read about in the papers whenever politicians want to use incapacity benefit as something to get outraged about. It's easy to say scrap the system when you don't rely on it, but - to be blunt - you never know when you're going to have to. I was supposed to be an award winning physicist by now, not someone living off the state with no job and no hope.

I admire self-sufficiency, I think it's a great thing to aspire to, but, in evolutionary terms, human society is built to rely on each other. We build on each other's strengths and weaknesses in order to form a cohesive whole, each bringing something different to the mix. Some manage while some create, some get things done while others help people with the transitions. Trying to do it all yourself is a great idea, but a lot of pressure when we are built to help each other out. If anything, I think our society is still too far towards isolation - self-worth is based on the job you do and the status you have, instead of what you are like as a human being. I may not be able to work, I may not be a physicist, but I listen when my friends need me, I help out when I can, I create and love and hope. It would be better if those qualities could be valued as much as our money-earning capabilities, as they are as necessary - not so much towards buying food to nourish the body, but in nourishing the soul. Everyone brings something different to the table, some more than others, some more obviously than others, but everyone has something to give, and it's in that exchange of giving and receiving that we are human.

feministmama
02-18-2008, 11:35 AM
Here's an interesting link I stumbled across

http://www.helium.com/tm/836270/compassion-important-trait-which

lelvsdgs
02-18-2008, 11:41 PM
This is such a complex issue for me. I really appreciate hearing all these diverse viewpoints and it has brought me to think twice about my own level of compassion. I have realized that the job I currently do has numbed me to some of these things. I have been hardened to some people because of the deception, callousness and disregard I see in some of these populations. I realize that I have begun painting certain people with a broad brush and that is so wrong.

Thank you for all your words... it will make me think twice before I make these kinds of judgements... I know that one small thing can put me in that very same situation...

I think your paper would be compelling, feministmama, and I hope you do write on this subject.

AnnArrogance
02-19-2008, 01:21 AM
I'm a liberal AND a Christian. The two are NOT mutually exclusive. I was raised Episcopalian, go to a Catholic university, and have spent time in church with Baptist and Methodist friends. I try to donate my money AND time to worthy causes that I feel will make a difference. I have helped spay and neuter the horde of feral cats under my friend's house, donated to women's shelters and homeless shelters, spent time working with needy and abused children, worked for dog and horse rescue programs, and built homes for Habitat for Humanity. I try to put my money and effort into areas where I feel it will do the most good.

As a Christian, I believe in the tenant, "Judge not lest ye be judged." I may not agree with all the beliefs of born-again Christians, but I respect them and their beliefs just like I do anyone else, and I certainly don't judge their beliefs or path to God anymore than I would judge someone who is Baptist, Jewish, or anything else. I don't judge born-agains Christians, or Conservatives, nor do I believe that they all believe or do the same things or act in the same ways. I don't believe in the validity of stereotypes. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all liberals are whiny snobs who talk about change but do nothing to effect it. Not all conservatives are heartless, big-business-loving warmongers. Just to name a few common, and innacurate, stereotypes.

I have compassion for born-again Christians the same as I have compassion for anyone else, even, to an extent, those who are intolerant or angry. I have compassion for the compassion they don't feel for their fellow man. Now, I'm NOT saying that anyone here is painted with that brush, I DO NOT mean or feel that, but I have met some people who are filled with anger at anyone who doesn't believe what they do. It makes me sad.

Yes, I would prefer to teach someone to fish rather than feed them, which is why I regularly donate to Kiva, (http://www.kiva.org)a non-profit organization that provides micro-credit loans to small business owners all over the world to help people start businesses and get on their feet. But many homeless people CAN'T get on their feet, no matter what kind of job-help they receive because of severe mental illness or other disability. I don't feel that it degrades them if I give them food or a dollar or two so they can eat and survive.

Now, I'm not going to give to someone who is clearly on meth or heroin or crack or using the money to sniff glue, but there are plenty of homeless people out there who are legitimately in need and legitimately unable to hold a job. I feel for them that they have no one else to take care of them and are crippled by mental illness, just the same as I would for ANYONE else, homeless, Christian, Muslim, rich, black, white, etc.

I've been very blessed. I am lucky enough to live a comfortable life, without serious mental or physical illness, with a family and friends who love and care for me, and who would support me if anything were to happen to me. Not everyone is that lucky. That's why I try to do what I can for those I can, be they human or animal. I want to share what I have been blessed with with as many as I can.

Two things I try to keep in mind:

"Judge not lest ye be judged." --Matthew 7:1
"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members." --Pope John Paul II, and a sentiment echoed by Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Harry Truman, among others

Just my two cents.

Silver
02-19-2008, 10:01 AM
Femmy, I echo your sentiments exactly. I knew I liked you for a reason. :muah:

debb
02-19-2008, 11:02 AM
I'm a liberal AND a Christian. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

One theory of the phrase 'bleeding heart liberal' is that it is based on the depiction of Christ on the cross - Jesus being somewhat liberal himself.

photolady
02-19-2008, 05:59 PM
I'm a liberal AND a Christian.
Now, I'm not going to give to someone who is clearly on meth or heroin or crack or using the money to sniff glue,



Two things I try to keep in mind:

"Judge not lest ye be judged." --Matthew 7:1
"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members." --Pope John Paul II, and a sentiment echoed by Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Harry Truman, among others

Just my two cents.
So, without judging, how do you decide if someone is going to use the money you give, to sniff glue?:-P

photolady
02-19-2008, 06:08 PM
One theory of the phrase 'bleeding heart liberal' is that it is based on the depiction of Christ on the cross - Jesus being somewhat liberal himself.

Somewhat, but not entirely. Jesus is the One Who said:
If a man does not work, he should not eat.

If a man doesn't provide for his family, he is worse than an infidel.

what does God say to us? He says, "Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of My hand." We are carved in the palm of His hand - that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception, and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us. (quoted from a website)

God said, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
That would make abortion, basically, idolatry. Choosing your own
purpose and wants in life, above that of the child you made.
So, Jesus is not as liberal as some would like to make Him out to be.

Now, that's all I'm going to say for now, about this.
If you want to discuss what the bible really says, please private message me, or post a question here. Glad to discuss it. I will use scripture to back up what the truth is. To ME, the only truth is the Word of God. I know that makes a lot of you upset, but, I am expressing my beliefs. I'm hoping there is freedom of expression in here. Still.
Subjective truth is what some try to make the bible out to be, but, in reality, the bible is objective truth.
Truth offends many.
I wish I knew why.


I care about each of you.

scout52
02-19-2008, 06:48 PM
i think this is going to be a fabulous paper and i hope you post it when its done. I would really like to read it. my take on compassion is simple. treat others as how i would like to be treated. people are of all different walks of life and i know i can't understand it all so i can't judge. but i try to give when i can and if i can give a little money or charity knitting, or whatever the cause may be then I do.

AnnArrogance
02-19-2008, 08:10 PM
So, without judging, how do you decide if someone is going to use the money you give, to sniff glue?:-P
If someone comes up to me with glue residue around his nose, or shaking and scratching at track marks, then it's really not much of a "judgement," now is it? It's pretty obvious.

I think I had some actual, valid responses to some of your statements and find it unfortunate that you chose to ignore them.

Also, if I WERE a judgmental person, I might think that thinking you are the only one with all the answers to what God wants is an example of pride.

Pat in Ca
02-19-2008, 10:49 PM
Ann.. lets try not to offend anyone by judging them prideful... this is supposed to be a friendly knitting post... let's all try to keep it that way..

Ingrid
02-19-2008, 11:22 PM
God made the drug addicts, too. They deserve compassion--it's a lot more helpful to them than hatred and intolerance. They are someone's child, and are surely in a place they don't want to be with a long, long way to climb out--sometimes too far.

Whether you give them money or not is up to you (or me), but there is a person down there.

cheesiesmom
02-19-2008, 11:55 PM
So, without judging, how do you decide if someone is going to use the money you give, to sniff glue?:-P

You can't. Sometimes you just have to have faith. Blind faith. Faith that you are doing the right thing. Faith that the recipient will do the right thing with the gift you have given. Faith that you have given someone in need a blessing and maybe, just maybe, a hand up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Do we forsake all for the poor actions of a few?

Of course it's easier to criticize and judge others. It's easier to ignore the plight of the poor, homeless and needy by convincing yourself that they'll just throw your offering down the toilet by using it for alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

A generation much younger that mine frequently asks, "What would Jesus do?" While I certainly don't think I qualify as a great Christian, or even a mediocre one, I kind of think He would offer His assistance and hope for the best. Ultimately, I believe a gift with no strings, one of unconditional love, makes a difference. Sort of like reaching out to save the one lost lamb.

I suppose my attitude qualifies me as a bleeding heart liberal. Well, frankly, it's a label I'm not ashamed of. I wear it as a badge of honor. I will never be rich, or famous, or popular. But I won't turn my back on someone in need because they may or may not fall in the wrong category.

BTW Femmy, there are so many compassionate knitters on this board, it makes me ashamed. They're knitting for so many worthwhile charities from animal shelters, to premies, chemo patients, adult foster children. The list is endless. I only wish I could knit faster. There are many good people on these boards. They make you want to try harder.

Gladys

auburnchick
02-20-2008, 12:16 AM
We are called to love one another, not to judge. That job belongs to One person, and it's not any of us.

However, it can be hard because we all have preconceived notions about others. It really is inevitable. You look at someone, you form an impression. But I think that if you catch yourself making that judgment call -- well then, you've grown (perhaps you've grown more compassionate or empathetic in the process).

:hug:

Pat in Ca
02-20-2008, 12:18 AM
I may be confused as to what this post is all about.... I came in late, so I tried to reread it all, but it seems to refer to another post...It seems that everyone is trying to prove that they are the most compassionate because they think this or do that..
I really doubt there is anyone here (or elsewhere) that does not have compassion for another human being going through tough times.we all have different ideas how to "help"...to suggest that others don't care because they don't help in the way YOU want them to doesn't make sense to me...anyone can SAY they are compassionate... to advertise works of charity you have done seems weird to me.. ..there seems to be more going on here... am I missing something???

AnnArrogance
02-20-2008, 12:28 AM
I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to be snarky. I think it frustrated me that I put a lot of thought into my post and was hoping for an equally considered and open response. I apologize for coming off like that.

And Pat, the thread is really not about proving how charitable we are. My response, at least, was based on the idea that compassion involves doing what you can for others, human or animal, and that if you try to help, it can make a difference to someone's life. Homeless people are PEOPLE, and shouldn't all be lumped in as "those people" or lazy or con artists or drug addicts or whatever. And, I guess, that the concept of Christian charity exists across all belief structures and political ideologies, and is not limited to only "bleeding heat liberals" or whomever else.

I guess the thread has gotten a bit convoluted and gone in a different direction, but that was, at least, the point I was trying to make. auburnchick said it much more succinctly and elegantly than I did, though--we are called to love, not judge.

Jan in CA
02-20-2008, 02:04 AM
Only thing I'd like to say is that we all aren't Christians and yet many of us are very charitable, good people with a lot to offer the world. I don't hold the same beliefs as some of you or believe that there is only one way or one "truth", but my feelings are just as valuable as anyone.

This is one reason why we need to be careful how things are worded. It can be hurtful when one's feelings are devalued because they feel differently than you. :hug:

auburnchick
02-20-2008, 08:56 AM
Only thing I'd like to say is that we all aren't Christians and yet many of us are very charitable, good people with a lot to offer the world.


How true, Jan. My father was not a Christian (as far as I know, and we had several conversations about this), but he was a wonderful man...very bright and compassionate.

I think that the thing that this thread has done for me is that it will cause me to pause, with different thoughts, when I see someone standing on the street...

THAT's one thing that is so wonderful about these forums.

photolady
02-20-2008, 07:09 PM
com·pas·sion /kəmˈpæʃən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhm-pash-uhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Alleviating a person's suffering, besides giving them free money,
is also characterized by teaching them self-sufficiency.
Teaching them how to cope with frustrations, instead of giving up.
Teaching them a SKILL, such as: running a lathe, emptying the city's garbage cans, typing, how to file folders correctly, alphabetically,
being a teacher's aide, being a cook, working in general.
I have a STRONG desire to help EACH person who begs from me, but, I cant' be sure , if I put them in my car, and drive them home with me, that they will be trustworthy. I might get knocked on the head, instead. Might not, too.
I still desire to help the person, I am frustrated though.
The BEST kind of compassion begins in the home,in the family.
Do mom and dad take care of their children? Do they show them love? Do they teach their children self discipline, self monitoring?
OR>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
is dad absent, and making more babies, mom working so hard she is never available emotionally, being drained by working all day or night,
or, do the parents abuse their children, thus paving the way for the child to probably grow up an emotional train wreck? Children learn from what they see the adults in their lives doing. Or,not doing.

I'm not saying all children in disadvantaged home situations grow up to be useless, and unable to hold down a job, but, I am saying that parents should take their responsibilities seriously, and take care to be a good example to their children.
When mom is out of the home,(save your comments, please) instead of at HOME, taking care of her children, a lot is lost.
When dad is unwilling to shoulder the responsibility of being a DAD, a lot is lost in the bringing up of the children.

So, if you see a homeless person, don't perpetuate their homelessness, by giving them money and a pat on the head, see if you can notify someone who could take the person to a decent shelter. Instead of letting them rot on the street.
If you really want to help homeless people, try to get training centers going, FOR the homeless. Make it a POLITICAL thing.
Try to get laws passed, that establish skill centers for homeless people.
And, for the truly mentally ill, try to protect them, and get them to
a place that will treat them with dignity.
Don't just hand them money. Talk to your mayor, your congressman, and see what can be done to actually take the people OFF the streets, and make them into people who contribute to society.

jdee
02-20-2008, 07:36 PM
But don't you think that, since those things take such a long time to accomplish, sometimes a little something is necessary to help them get by.

I agree that the best long term solution is skill teaching, but what about now? These people are not disposable, they just need a little help now. I know what you're trying to say, but I think the harshness in the overall tone of your posts is what disturbs me. Especially coming from a fellow Christian. Jesus, according to the gospels, had a very deep compassion for the poor, and society's cast offs. I grew up in a Christian home, and excepted Jesus early in my life, and I always remember different things our church would do to help some of our less fortunate families. Some of them needed a month's groceries, a bill paid, or some little something to help them over a finacial snag. Not because we're enabling them to be needy, but because we felt they just needed a little help past a rough spot.

Silver
02-21-2008, 10:49 AM
IMHO, there is nothing wrong with giving someone a little money or pocket change. It may not be as hugely helpful as opening a center for the homeless or creating laws to protect and help the homeless, but it is a help. And even a small help can do a lot of good.

photolady
02-21-2008, 10:53 AM
i think this is going to be a fabulous paper and i hope you post it when its done. I would really like to read it. my take on compassion is simple. treat others as how i would like to be treated. people are of all different walks of life and i know i can't understand it all so i can't judge. but i try to give when i can and if i can give a little money or charity knitting, or whatever the cause may be then I do.

What if you can give something else besides money?


Here's a couple of stories to illustrate:
If you've ever taught your child(ren) to ride a bike, or rollerskate, how many times did they fall? Did you help them back up, or leave them on the ground, with no instructions?
(I'm hoping you helped them back up, and encouraged them to try again)
Let's say the child had forgotten to lace up his skates correctly, did you let her keep stumbling over them, or did you educate her on the correct way to lace up her skates?
What if she gave up, and told YOU to lace up her skates, every time she wanted to play?
Did you do it?

By showing her how to skate the right way, you helped her enjoy her experience, and helped her develop a sense of independence, plus, by refusing to lace her skates up for her, you taught her how to solve a problem ON HER OWN.

photolady
02-21-2008, 10:58 AM
IMHO, there is nothing wrong with giving someone a little money or pocket change. It may not be as hugely helpful as opening a center for the homeless or creating laws to protect and help the homeless, but it is a help. And even a small help can do a lot of good.
IMHO, it's kind of the easy way out to hand out change.
It's more compassionate to contact legislators, to contact private business owners, or public educational facilities, and get the ball rolling there.
It's easier to toss money at homeless people, than to get the general public engaged in actually helping people OUT of their hole.

ONE person sending letters, voicing their concern, teaching someone a skill, is better than a thousand people handing out money.

Handing out money might make us feel good, but, it's a selfish good.
Because it's the easy way out.
THE HARDER WAY OF COMPASSION is to keep looking, knocking on doors, asking businessmen who have the wherewithal, to establish a learning center.

photolady
02-21-2008, 11:05 AM
But don't you think that, since those things take such a long time to accomplish, sometimes a little something is necessary to help them get by.

I agree that the best long term solution is skill teaching, but what about now? These people are not disposable, they just need a little help now. I know what you're trying to say, but I think the harshness in the overall tone of your posts is what disturbs me. Especially coming from a fellow Christian. Jesus, according to the gospels, had a very deep compassion for the poor, and society's cast offs. I grew up in a Christian home, and excepted Jesus early in my life, and I always remember different things our church would do to help some of our less fortunate families. Some of them needed a month's groceries, a bill paid, or some little something to help them over a finacial snag. Not because we're enabling them to be needy, but because we felt they just needed a little help past a rough spot.

The harshness is a mis-judgement on your part.
My tone of "voice" is due to the frustration I feel about this.
Yes, help someone over a rough spot. Sure. Good idea.
I took advantage of that, when I was on food stamps and welfare.
I also took advantage of the free skills classes offered me, and gradually worked my way up.
What about the people who refuse to "tie their own shoelaces", and demand that you do it for them?
(see previous post)
This is when you become creative, in attracting homeless people into a situation that solves their short term problem, yet, ends up teaching them how to solve their long term problem.

JESUS HAD COMPASSION, but, he told the harlot to "go and SIN NO MORE", and, he said if a man doesn't take care of his family, he's worse than an infidel.
Jesus had a lot to say about self-conduct. Being honorable.
Jesus said, Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Silver
02-21-2008, 11:08 AM
By showing her how to skate the right way, you helped her enjoy her experience, and helped her develop a sense of independence, plus, by refusing to lace her skates up for her, you taught her how to solve a problem ON HER OWN.
That's true, I don't think anyone is denying that teaching a homeless person HOW not to be homeless anymore is a good thing. However, there's also nothing wrong with giving your daughter a cookie after she fell to help take away some of the pain.

IMHO, it's kind of the easy way out to hand out change.
It's more compassionate to contact legislators, to contact private business owners, or public educational facilities, and get the ball rolling there.
It's easier to toss money at homeless people, than to get the general public engaged in actually helping people OUT of their hole.

ONE person sending letters, voicing their concern, teaching someone a skill, is better than a thousand people handing out money.

Handing out money might make us feel good, but, it's a selfish good.
Because it's the easy way out.
THE HARDER WAY OF COMPASSION is to keep looking, knocking on doors, asking businessmen who have the wherewithal, to establish a learning center.
So I give money because I'm being selfish and lazy??? What a way to belittle my gesture of kindness! Thank you! :noway:

I'm thinking this is a pointless argument. It's apparent that you believe only huge and grand gestures are worth anything. But lots of use believe little gestures are important too. :shrug:

photolady
02-21-2008, 11:16 AM
So I give money because I'm being selfish and lazy??? What a way to belittle my gesture of kindness! Thank you! :noway:

I'm thinking this is a pointless argument. It's apparent that you believe only huge and grand gestures are worth anything. But lots of use believe little gestures are important too. :shrug:

You are carrying a chip on your shoulder, and are easy and quick to take offense, where no offense was meant.

You are mis-judging me, and I don't appreciate that. I never called you any names. Not once.
This isn't a pointless argument. This is a good debate in examining OTHER ways to do things.
Little gestures are good, I do them myself. But, I also get really frustrated at how NOTHING ELSE IS DONE.
Giving daughter a cookie, is great. Comforting her is right to do.
But, never helping her learn to help herself is NOT right.
Do you understand?
Emotions are great, but, logical problem solving helps more, in some situations.
Silver, I've been known to get out of my car, and sit on the sidewalk with a homeless, drunken man, trying to help him get up.
I gave him money. Then a cop came along, and took over.
I've given plenty of money, and donations, to help the homeless, but,
the problem doesn't seem to get better, unless someone
steps up to the plate and makes some clatter about CHANGING THINGS for the better.
Where would YOU be if you didn't have ANY education?

Silver
02-21-2008, 11:22 AM
You are carrying a chip on your shoulder, and are easy and quick to take offense, where no offense was meant.

You are mis-judging me, and I don't appreciate that. I never called you any names. Not once.

Handing out money might make us feel good, but, it's a selfish good.
Because it's the easy way out.
I don't believe I mis-read your statements. That quote implies selfishness and laziness.

And while it may not be "name-calling", claiming I have a chip on my shoulder when I do not, is insulting.

I don't believe you're intentionally offending people, myself included. Perhaps you're just having a difficult time expressing yourself clearly, and also, hearing what others are saying.

I think it's time to close this thread as it is clearly going nowhere but down.