We have all experienced times when money was tight, but we are all very lucky that none of us ever knew true hunger or homelessness.
The first time I was ever made aware that some people don’t have a home was when I was in sixth grade. We went on a field trip to New York City, and I recall walking through an area known as The Bowery. During that time, there were a number of homeless people living there, and our parents had to sign a permission trip acknowledging that we would be walking through the area—as if it were an attraction. I don’t recall where we went on the trip but I still recall the homeless men to this day. I remember that they were called “bums” or “hobos.” How awful to call another human being by that name!
I never again experienced people living on the streets until we moved to Chapel Hill, and now when I visit Casey in Silver Spring, I am again saddened to pass homeless individuals living under the Metro bridge close to her home. I feel both guilt and helplessness.
Yesterday, I saw a man interviewed on television, and he wiped tears from his eyes as he spoke about his fears regarding how he would take care of his family during our latest shutdown. My heart broke for him and others like him.
Our president clearly has no understanding what it is like to be faced with choosing between food and medicine, stating that “they will figure it out.” Really? How does that work?
Then I thought of a story I heard about a recent trip to an indoor waterpark, when a bigger girl, who did not wait long enough before heading down the waterslide, crashed into Lily before she climbed off the slide. Lily turned to her and said, “That wasn’t nice!” When Lily told me the story, she added, “Grandma, she didn’t say she was sorry.”
So I listened to the president answer questions about how people were going to cope without receiving their salary, and it was obvious that he was clueless to their plight. He’s not very nice and he didn’t say he was sorry!