Friday, June 24, 2011
When I walk around, people stare at me. It seems like they think that I have some kind of disease and if they smile that they will catch it. I am treated not like a human. People do not respect us. They are scared. I am just a person who has bad luck. I do not take drugs and I do not commit crimes. I am a religious person and obey the laws. I just cannot get a break. I do not have a job but I would like one. I am not lazy. I think that people think that homeless people are lazy. I am not. I have tried to make money by cleaning, taking care of kids, and had a couple of part time jobs but no one is hiring someone with no education. The money they pay can't pay my bills. I lost my home. I am tired of being judged and treated like a disease. I am a person. I live and breathe and eat and need love like everyone else. I do not have many friends but I would like some. I believe in Christ and he loves me. I know that he will not give me more than I can handle, but I am really sad right now. I hope that he hears me and helps me out. I sure do need it.
I am a forty-three year old woman living in a shelter. I did not imagine that my life would have turned out like this. I had dreams and ambitions when I was little but life sometimes throws us obstacles, and we have to rethink our plans. I know that I am never going to be rich like I had dreamed of as a little girl. My dreams are simpler now. I just want a roof over my head, food on the table, and some heat in the winter. I need a job but no one wants to hire a homeless person. How do they expect us to find a house when we cannot get a job and cannot get any money. I pray that things are going to get better, but they seem to be getting worse. I am depressed but have faith in God that things will get better. He knows best.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I am now living in a homeless shelter. I am writing on the status of my personal financial situation and the election of our current and upcoming president. I am an African American female. I was so excited to be living in the era of the election of our first African American president. President Obama gave us so much hope in terms of a new America and we look forward to it.
I am writing to let the president know that I have been watching what he has been doing to make our unemployment situation better. My local nightly news says that the unemployment rate has now risen. I personally am doing worse due to the fact that I am now unemployed for the third year. I was employed when the president was elected. I am worse off now in each and every segment of my financial life. I am trying to start over, it will be a long and low climb uphill toward something that I can recognize as I remember my life before the president was elected. I will have to ponder my decision carefully when our next presidential election comes around again. I won't take my privilege to vote for granted if I want my voice to be heard politically.
We live in America--the land of opportunity, the land of the free--the land where prejudices and discrimination are "discouraged" while corporate America judges hopeful candidates by online applications, government officials view citizens not as individuals but as potential votes, and people continue to base assumptions on initial, visual impressions.
Thou shall not judge, at least that is what most religions preach; yet, people are continually discriminated against by their level of, or lack of, education and professional experience, their social class, their skin color, their nationality, and their age. Not only do prejudices continue to exist in America today, but prejudices have expanded to general characteristics--too fat, too skinny, too dumb, too smart, too against traditional societal norms.
Some may argue that discrimination has been diminished; there are laws that are supposedly enforced that allow each citizen an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams. However, the prejudices of the past that have historically condemned both men and women to lives of impoverishment have not ceased to exist; rather, like our times, discrimination and prejudices has merely evolved into a modern, high-tech level.
It is no longer the color of one's skin or one's religion that solely dictates discrimination. It exceeds far beyond initial first impressions or generational worldviews. Prejudice and discrimination still begins at the surface, the judge's eyes, but it moves beyond anything that we can control. The hatred erodes the purest souls for the persecuted cannot dictate fate--their social class, their nationality, their parents, and their lack of high connections in the workforce or on social networking sites prevent them from living up to their potential. These things that one cannot control, these circumstances that we often wish to change but are powerless in escaping, affects the entire being of the individual.
Can we ever move beyond prejudging people on first impressions and generational assumptions? Will we, as a nation and as individuals, ever succeed in learning about the individual before we express our biases? What happened in getting to know your neighbor, your community, your peers, and your fellow human beings? What happened to our humanity?
The state of our country--our world--lies in the hands of our young, but what are the youths of today, the leaders of tomorrow, learning from the world? We need to stand strong, as community members and as compassionate citizens, and support our neighbors. We need to take the time to discover the ugly truths and wonderful beauties that lie within our neighbor's souls. We need to change the ways of the world, one soul at a time, in order to protect not only our future as a nation but to also preserve our humanity.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I was taught that it is an honorable thing to serve in the service. I was also taught not very many things are worth going to war for. When my Cherokee great-grandma told me if your livelihood is threatened, it is a reason to go to war. This is the same woman who cried when we went to war because she thought that her sons would soon die for a cause not their own.
My uncle was a cook in the service, and my brother was a Green Beret and worked in communications during the Vietnam War. He now has Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and is an alcoholic. Why? The cause was not his own.
He also sings, plays his guitar, and laughs. He is supportive to me and others who struggle. He is supportive of our causes. He has learned to get help if he gets too down and tells us to do the same. This is his cause.
My brother was in the Korean War. He found good prices on goods in the foreign community, learned to eat with chopsticks, and has learned to make a mean stir fry and excellent rice. He showed me how to make the best of the worst situations.
I have yet to get with it and spread the word on supporting the veterans here and everywhere. I'm telling people now, and I am remembering them too. I would like to honor the veterans and the families with a song that I am co-writing. We need to spread the word and support.
My feelings about the death of Bin Laden is not so much an American or patriotic issue but a human issue. It's always bad when human life is lost, but I also believe that justice should prevail and everyone should be accountable for their deeds. I'm not sad over Bin Laden's death and I am not rejoicing. I am satisfied that justice prevailed because he reaped what he sowed. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Being in a shelter is not where I had meant to be. Most people talk about being in charge of one's life. I thought that I was in charge of my life. I pay my bills, I follow the rules, and I volunteer my time in my community. Yet, here I am in the shelter; this is not where I am meant to be.
My mother taught me what was right and wrong and to follow the golden rule. I did those things change for me? How am I here?
Why am I invisible? Why do people shy away from me on the street? Why do people sneer? This is not how I treat people, so why are they mean to me?
My voice is ignored in the justice system, ignored in my community, ignored in my family. My talents are squeezed away from me; I hate who I am and where I am. Yet, I go on. My plans have changed. My most important plan is to be a role model for future generations, but I can't when I am here. It is not where I am meant to be.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Me? I don't really know where to start. My birthday is in December and I am 23 years of age. I don't have kids and never been married. I am a preachers daughter, I have a mom, and I have 2 older sisters and one older brother. Even though I don't have kids, I love them.
My favorite food is fish. "Tilapia" fish. Actually, I also like romantic movies, too. My favorite movies is Donnie Brasco and Never Too Big.
Being here is like a second chance to me. My goals in life is to finish school and get my GED. I want to be a meteorologist--science, and chemistry. I was cool at first. I went to school for a while and wanted to be in criminal justice. I really want to better myself and get me a nice apartment and do right by myself and others. I go to church every Sunday and bible school every Friday. I do believe in God. I believe that God wouldn't give me nothing that I can't handle...or even place me in a predicament that I can't get out of. I am a strong woman. I can't find a job but I want to get a job. Any kind of job is cool with me. I can adjust. I just need a job.
My name is Pauline and my birthday is in February. I have a brown color shade of skin. I am short. I have dark eyes. I am in need of housing. I used to live in apt. housing for sick but now I am trying to get forms for homeless housing certificate before I can move in my own apt. and I will be living in the area soon after the form is finished. Then I can move out of here.
Why does change have to be so hard? Is it because we worry about the consequences that will follow it? You never know until you try. I believe we as people rounded this land by taking a risk and that risk is sometimes good and sometimes bad. Overall, I think that change is good.
There is a new era of life where we want to do something but knows that it is not benefiting us one bit. Society today is leaning on technology to help us answer the problems that we started. We need to leave the unknown where it is at. The world today has issues far beyond our meaning. We made choices but we won't deal with the consequences.
Here is my big and great change called "eternal life." The son of God made it possible. I feel Bin Laden's death doesn't make a difference for me. I have to think about me and God. We are not God. We as a whole will soon come to a change or a conclusion. People here died for the belief in finding something maybe truth but nothing will change unless we do something...