Friday, December 16, 2016


Today I have watched a woman, in tears, be THOROUGHLY patted down by a TSA agent.  I have also watched an anti-democratic coup go down in North Carolina.  THIS IS HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Reasonable Generosity

Photo via Jon Feinstein, creative commons
A couple of years ago, Andy and I were walking down the street to a sandwich shop and ran into a guy asking for money or food.  We promised to bring him a sandwich after we ate, and Andy gave him some advice about using Google Voice if he was looking for a reliable way to be contacted by social services or an employer, which is a good idea.

Over the next week, I was walking down the same street and hoped that the same guy would be around and I'd run into him, but then I was like, "You can't hang out with that presumably homeless guy!"

But why not?  I guess there's stranger danger (eyeroll), but we'd found a few sort of intimate things in common when we talked, so it wasn't fair of me to assume we wouldn't connect.  I was also afraid of taking on a charity case that I didn't know much about.  If I was going to hang out with him, I'd feel obligated to try and help him fix his problems, and I didn't know if I'd be able to do what was necessary to be a friend to him, if he wanted one.

I do my best to share and be generous with my time and money, but if I had this fellow over for dinner one night, I'd feel terrible to let him find a place to sleep later that night.

It's not right that I just keep people out of sight and out of mind.  There are practical limits to sharing,  but they're very hard to see in the moment. As of now, I can't exactly see why it would be unreasonable to offer my couch up to anyone who wants to sleep on it at night.  It's not like I'm sleeping on it at night.  But that's not how things work, I guess.

I'm going to keep pushing until I feel like I am serving my fellow man, regardless of which kleptocrats are in charge.