One of the things that I love is traveling into the City of Chicago. It is a truely amazing place, with all the shopping, sights, buildings, beaches, music, dancing, bars and everything else that Chicago has to offer. Yet, one of the things that we dont look at in the city is those who are living in the city, not living per say rather existing in the Chicago. Those individuals who are living there, yet have no home, no job, or any real possessions; yet they all have or had a family at some point. What happened to their family? What happened to the love that they once experienced? What ever happened to their self esteem, their self concept? What are their dreams, do they still dream? Do they still have the hope that the rest of have, or are they just exixiting in a world that seems to have left them behind. Are they enjoying life, or watching it pass them by on the sidewalk? Do they have any secreat talents? Do they have hidden gifts that would wow us if we knew, or took the time to know them. We pass these individuals daily as we walk to work or go shopping or just have an outing in the wonderous city of Chicago.
Yet, there is a true stigmatism that seems to exist around the all those who live on the streets, or in the boxes under the bridge. That they are all sad low lifes of society. Yet, this is not always the case, they are children who someone cared about at one time. They were preciuos children, they were abnoxious teenagers, yet they all went wrong or had some horrid experience that may have scarred them for life, and now they live in the streets. They line up daily for meals, or just a warm bed at night. They pray that they get there early enough to get a warm bed and a couple of blankets, a warm shower in the morning. Sometime all they want is some companionship, someone to talk to them as a friend, a warm touch, a kind word, someone to treat them as human. This simple little thing may just touch their soul, and make a hugh difference in their life because for two whole seconds someone saw them as a person and not a bumb, lowlife, or just another street person.
Do we take tiem time to hear their story, why are they living in the park, what happened to their family, why are they homeless? Does anyone in their family know what is happening to them? Do they know they are living in a box, eating out of the garbage? Why is this acceptable? At what point do we let other family members become homeless? What is the one horrible thing that they did to end up like this? Was it drinking or drug that made them this way and if so is there not programs to help them? If they wanted the help now would it be givien to them without insurance or an address? Would they take them as an impatient without any means of ever paying the bill? Have we failed them as a society, by not giving them the tools that they needed in their time of crisis, so they turned to drugs or alocholism which made everything worse? What happens to them now, and who is there for them to turn to now that they are living on the streets, and have no one or no where to really turn.....they are the lost souls of the city, and every city has them.
These lost souls are everywhere, do we chose to walk by them daily and not give them something to eat, drink or a single ciggerette. We see them, yet do not see them, we don't ever know their true story, if we gave them the resources that are out there would they understand that we are there to help them and not to hurt them? Can we as a society take the time to see the lost souls that live, breath and roam amoung us or do we chose to walk by them and pretend that they are not there? They are not our family member, yet they are someones, brother, sister, child or parent, who has hit rock bottom and cannot find a way out. They are not my responsibility, they are are a part of our society, and they are someones realtive. Why is it so easy for us to walk by and leave these poor lost souls there on the sidewalk, or in the box, under the bridge. Would we walk away from our family members as their family has, or at some point is there forgiveness that happens too late after they are gone and we have lost track and they are on the streets and lost forever. Begging for food and a warm bed? When did this become ok? When society come to the place that we let our own go into the streets to starve and do the unthinkable to surrive? What makes it ok now for us to just walk by the lost souls and not see them, but this is the society that we live in. One that is able to walk by our lost souls and not see them or want to help them; a society that come to the point that says this is ok, they got themselves there, they will get themselves off of the streets. Easier said then done. May we all pray for the lost souls and the talents that they have within them, for the love that they long to share, yet not a soul to give it too. For the longing of a warm shower and meal nightly. May we never come to the place that we become a lost soul, because as people walk by us as we are cold and hungry would you want them to help or judge you as you have come to judge those who are lost now.