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"Transitional Traveler"

By       Message James Armstrong II     Permalink
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"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them."

-Mark Twain

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I am no longer calling Us "homeless" because I believe it does more harm than good.  The word is a pejorative.  That word holds a stigma that gets in the way of managing the overall problem.  Changing the name does make a difference, because We now control what We are called.  No longer is there someone who does not know Us labeling Us.  And the new wording rings more factual anyway.  Like George Carlin once said, "They aren't 'homeless.' A 'home' is an abstract term. It's 'houses' these people don't have. It's called 'Houseless'!"

"Transitional Traveler" makes more sense.

#homeless person in LA
(Image by mbtrama)
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#homeless person in LA by mbtrama

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For one thing, everyone on this planet is transitional.  Life is constantly moving... everything is in flux.  Therefore transition is not a bad thing; transition is a natural process.  It just so happens that some of Us are transitioning from one place to another in different ways.  Again, the "pursuit of happiness" are three words I love to read.  For me, they mean no matter what path I choose, I have the right to pursue any happiness I choose, whatever that may be or however direction it may take me.  So to intimate to someone that they are wrong for how they are choosing to live is not only an assumption based on ignorance, but it's the wrong assumption.

The word "Traveler" is more apt as well.  Again, we are all traveling throughout the world.  Some drive cars, some ride buses, some ride horses, some walk.  Oh, and by the way... I believe the internal combustion engine is the worst invention ever.  It's the source for all our current miseries and is polluting the planet every mile driven.  I was part of this problem but now no longer have the money for it, thank goodness.  Even if I make millions I will try not to drive anything that needs oil of any kind.  I know this is almost an impossibility, but not if you're a Traveler.

Now to managing all these Transitional Travelers: we need to stop the scapegoating; we need to stop the blaming.  Even if it is someone's own fault (which can be debated about what 'fault' means) about how they got on these streets, who cares?  All the Moral Indignation in the world is not going to help fix or manage them.  It's not going to do anything other than keep Us out here.  Calling Us names will not help.  So if you are going to behave this way, we do not need your help.  And if you're not going to help, get the hell out of the way.  A lot like an American Bureaucrat, you're obstructing.  Also try and remember that lots of these people have been sexually, physically, or psychologically abused at as well.  So blaming them is not only punitive but it's, again, immoral.

We need to have Our basic needs met.  And we are getting some of that, as good church folks are helping out with their time and food.  But as far as the State is concerned, we're on Our own.  As far as the cities are concerned, we are on Our own.  As far as housing is concerned... we are on Our own.  How are we to stop being "homeless" if we do not have a "home," or a "house," rather.  And the never ending cycle of madness that goes on with this subject is also bothersome.  You think life has you running in circles in your life, try Ours out for style.  The runaround is what we deal with.  Big brick walls is what we deal with.  A constant barage of bullshit that is harder to understand than if the NRA (National Rifle Association) decided to sponsor shooting range lessons for five-year-old elementary-school-children.  In the preamble, it reads, "We the People [...] promote the 'general welfare'"... 'nuff said.

We need to make sure the money that comes from taxpayers is dived up correctly.  We need constant upkeep on records and money and where it is being allocated.  We need accountability from not only those services sponsored by cities and states but we need accountability from our elected officials, too.  People know what is going on.  Where is the money?  Where did it go?  Who is responsible?  Not Us, I know that much.  We didn't cause this mess.  Those with responsibility for these things are still in office, a lot of them are are they?  Why?  Who is accountable here?  Us?! 

Someone gave me an idea.  They said We should all walk down University Avenue, en masse, to the brand-new, $13-million-dollar animal shelter and camp out in front of their doors.  Maybe.  That would make the point, would it not?  However, it still does not do anything to change Our current situation.  And We have made plenty of those type statements already.  But again, We are no closer to getting help.  People have written, "Why should my tax dollars go to putting you in an apartment?," using their usual Steel Trap Logic and Ayn Rand (moral) political stance to back up their intolerance.

I like to point to how Rome took care of all its' citizens.  And did so, not because they were magnanimous, not because they were (*gasp*) "socialists."  It because they did not want their children to get sick.  If you take care of everyone, everyone will be healthy.  If you don't... well, logically you can see where I am going with this.  And if you are not taking care of it that tells me you are systematically keeping this situation going... why?  Again, this problem has been allowed to persist at its present state and continues the downward spiral of "called due to lack of interest," so it is not a new problem.  

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Persistence is needed.  Accountability is needed.  Courage is needed.  Perseverance is needed.  Honor is needed.  Principle is needed.  Integrity is needed.  All of those are needed.  However, if all those things are not accounted for, human beings have a way of sloughing off the rules they do not advance them in some way.  It's almost an innate aspect of our DNA that pushes this philosophy.  We start out with the best of intentions a lot of the times, but instead end up "selling your dreams for small desires."  There is something in our makeup that allows for the rationalizing of whatever moral code we're about to break.

It's like there is an attorney sitting right next to you at every crossroad of your life and he's trying to pull a fast one on the Devil.  And I do not know who is worse.  At this point it doesn't matter; at this point you're in the deep end; at this point you may as well jump in head first.  Ignore that attorney Douche Bag.  The Devil will always be there, tempting you.  But you do not have to react.  We can all rise above this... condition.  People are afraid to call it what it is too.  People are beginning to see the writing on the wall and they are still in Denial?

But, I digress.

We need all those things mentioned, and We need to be treated like human beings should be treated.  Simple respect Our way comes back Your way.  I am respectful to people on a daily basis, unless they are nasty to me first.  I then give back what I get.  My ego loves that sh*t, but I hate it.  It just gets me into trouble.  My ego feeds off it.  My writing feeds off my ego.  And that is the real drug; that is my drug.  Anything else in this world is just a bridge to that.  Writing is the opiate of my life. That is why when I could not write it was like having Blue Balls.  It was like kissing my sister, with tongue... and I ain't like that.  It was like going out with a girl with whom you have liked for a year, just to have toilet paper sticking out your pants and one more on the bottom of your shoe, which now has something else stuck to the sole as well?

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I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).

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