A LITTLE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LITTLE LESS ENABLING
By Max R. Weller
In just 1 1/2 hours on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 yesterday, I made $51 from generous passersby — this makes a total of $184 in 10 1/2 hours spread over the five days since my return to this neighborhood, where I’ve lived for seven years. That’s about $17.50/hour, for which I’m very grateful because I can’t stand for any longer than a couple of hours once a day, before my bum hip screams in protest (ibuprofen notwithstanding). I’ve got $100 in my coffee jar piggy bank, enough to meet any emergency such as transients stealing everything from my campsite.
One of the folks who donated to my cause, and helped to make my blog possible in the future, was a young man who asked me to promise that I wouldn’t use the cash he handed over to buy drugs. It was a teachable moment and I wasn’t offended at being stereotyped in a negative way; I simply told him, “We aren’t all that way . . . I don’t do drugs nor do I drink nor do I smoke cigarettes.” I could have added that every penny I receive goes either to buying the necessities of life such as food, clothing, camping gear, bus fare, etc. or I save it. (I’ve even been known to donate to charity, and wish I could give more). He seemed to believe what I had said at first, so I chose not to belabor the point. I represent the 80 percent of all homeless people who are decently behaved, despite their struggles in daily life. The other 20 percent? A pox on them, for making us all look bad!
Someone calling himself Doug_E_Fresh on the Daily Camera website asked a question, “What could we the citizens of Boulder do that would get you back on your feet and no longer homeless?” My answer to him, in all sincerity, is: “What makes you think you should do anything at all? Really . . .”
Consider the life of Diogenes of Sinope. I didn’t set out to emulate the original homeless philosopher, but when a friend pointed him out a few years ago I was amazed at the parallels in our two lives, thousands of years apart.
Here’s an unsolicited testimonial: Don’t worry–some people in Boulder appreciate their homeless philosopher — even those who bike to work. :^) Kudos to that CU student for filming you. If I didn’t have two small kids and a job, I’d write a book about you, or co-write one with you. You are our Diogenes of Sinope, holding a lantern aloft and looking for an honest man. Here’s a quote from Wikipedia about him: “He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. His life was a relentless campaign to debunk the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt society.”
Not everyone who lives and/or works in Boulder, CO is a pompous ass, after all. I remind myself of this fact frequently.
Interesting blog from the Washington Post in re Hillary Clinton. The woman is carrying more baggage than a Pullman porter, and I’d be delighted to see her become the Democratic Party’s nominee for POTUS in 2016; that’s the best chance the GOP can hope to have for taking back the White House:
“What, me worry?”
Tonight at my campsite: Deli-sliced turkey on sourdough bread with mayo, and Van Camp’s pork and beans.
Hillary should try a spoonful.