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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Worked Hard when I came to this Country! What's your Problem?

We spend a lot of time and energy in our days judging and second guessing others, their actions and motives. Barely an hour goes by without observing something someone has done and all of sudden we have an opinion of it. Recently, a parishioner walked up and confronted a man standing with other homeless men and said, “So when are you going to go get a job? I worked hard when I came to this country! What’s your problem?” The man humbly thanked him for the comments and did not reply. The man receiving the admonishment was actually a homeless volunteer and had a very good day job.

When talking about homelessness and poverty with many Americans, the topic evokes in them a response that they’ve got it all figured out. For many, they have judged that the problem is quite easily fixed when all the lazy people get jobs and all the drug users stop using. But this feeling that we have to sort people and situations out in our minds and make judgments about them is in reality quite oppressive. Henri Nouwen once said, “Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy.” Jesus once said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.”

3 comments:

CECIL B DEMENTED said...

I am so with you on this, I hear people get upset with homeless just by thinking them not trying hard for themselves but it's not that simple..

LS said...

Thanks for bringing up a topic that I have found to be ocurring more frequently. I have been disheartened of late by comments made by a few friends and relatives concerning homelessness and illegal immigration. Their comments range from 'they need to get a job' through blaming the immigrants for their kids not getting jobs. And these are realy decent people who normally are the most charitable people. Has this topic become so politicized so that we Americans are supposed to forget the tragedy of Iraq or the daily suffering around us? I just don't understand.

Raby Savage said...

I personally know a homeless person who works about 10 hours per day but, is still part of a growing number of working poor I come across. He also has an undiagnosed mental disorder.

Oh, on the undocumented immigrant issue. Where were these complainers when there were people who were willing and still are willing to work for less than minimum wage? Do we have amnesia in this country? Now we want to throw people away. By the way, have you checked the IRS website, etc.--undocumented immigrants make up about $60 billion (not million) of tax revenue. How about that, people who don't have to pay taxes since they are undocumented but, do.