Friday, January 19, 2007

On Compassion and Children

So a local NYC business is suing homeless individuals in the area for $1 million, claiming that their presence on and around the heating vent in front of their store is a disturbance, and that they "stir up trouble." The business-owner is also requesting a sort of restraining order stating that the homeless must not come within 100 feet of the premises.

Meanwhile, a local resident and business-owner said on CBS News that the homeless individuals are usually gone by the early morning anyway. Now, my immediate response was "he can't possibly expect to actually win that amount of money from homeless individuals," followed swiftly by these exact words: "What the fu--?" And later, a thought of how unrealistic and cold-hearted it is to even think that a restraining order such as this is enforceable or warranted.
What has changed (assuming that there is a change and it didn't just start this way to begin with) in people's hearts that they have such intolerance, inability to accept, and lack of compassion towards others? And on a more focused scale, if you are concerned that the presence of the homeless is an issue for business, give them money to go get lunch indoors, or just get the "restraining order" alone.

* * *
From Adam Gopnik, author of "Through the Children's Gate" and "Paris to the Moon," writer for The New Yorker, and guest on "Charlie Rose":

As a parent, you always find yourself saying "just trust me," to your kids. And they keep going on, adding up, until they say it back to you.
"We can't really make the world safe for our kids."
"As a parent, you're aware that every single thing is contingent, fragile, and improvised."
Over time, we as adults and parents, instead of looking back upon our ancestors for answers, we look towards our children for meaning.

* * *
Between commuting, tv-watching, cleaning the house, reading, sleeping, eating, Kiwanis, and seeing friends as much as possible, I've filled up bunches of my time, but still not all of it. Writing has been missing, popping up sporadically.
I wonder if I just feel dumpy, and thus look dumpy, because of winter's companion of lack of exercise, or if it's the writing sabbatical that took away the vigor in me.

I guess I am somewhat lonely.
There are trains and aeroplanes, instant messaging/emails and cell phones, but scattered people still make for scattered activity and life.

Food and culture makes its own culture.

Family, energy and music.

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