“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”—Blessed Mother Teresa (via restlesshippo)
"For those who are well-off, it may be easier to castigate the irresponsibility of the poor than to recognize that success in life is a reflection not only of enterprise and willpower, but also of random chance and early upbringing.
Low-income earners, who actually encounter the needy in daily life, understand this complexity and respond with empathy. Researchers say that’s why the poorest 20 percent of Americans donate more to charity, as a fraction of their incomes, than the richest 20 percent. Meet those who need help, especially children, and you become less judgmental and more compassionate.
And compassion isn’t a sign of weakness, but a mark of civilization.”
“This winter, I’ll see more patients with seasonal-affective disorder than the flu, and the tissues in my exam room will dry tears more often than they muffle sneezes.”—Suzanne Koven writes about how everyday health-care providers are increasingly responsible for addressing mental illness: http://nyr.kr/17czL0l (via newyorker)
About 20 individuals in Saskatoon are known to use more than $100,000 per year in health and other community services, she said. “Sometimes it’s emergency visits, ambulance, other community services or corrections resources … They really need a wraparound service to help them,” Davies said. “Many are homeless.”
Society would do better to redirect that $2 million toward providing those 20 people with housing and other supports, she said.
“After you interview me for a job, I visit a pantry for food…I have bathed in public restrooms. I have slept in emergency room lobbies. I have cried myself asleep with one eye open to protect myself and my remaining property. What does homeless look like? I am not disheveled or haggard if and when we meet. I am now a jobless woman trying to get back on my feet. So don’t become confused about what you see just because I am not pushing all my belongings in a shopping cart down the street. I am the new face of homeless! It is I! It is me! The college-educated woman broken and lonely trying to get back on my feet!”—Sharon D. Felder, of Indianapolis, Indiana
Compared with most forty-nine-year-olds, or even most forty-nine-month-olds, Tiffany didn’t have much. She did leave a will, though. In it, she decreed that we, her family, could not have her body or attend her memorial service.
“So put that in your pipe and smoke it,” our mother would have said.
What if it’s not just a ‘few times’ that they are wayward puzzle pieces, but thousands of times? What if every one of those people you pass are lost pieces — that is to say humans — deserving of dignity and support?
Heartwarming though it may be, the practice of plucking individuals from a life of poverty does not scale. When Cinderella ascended to the throne, she did not bring the rest of the servants with her.
The Cinderella story has two morals. The light moral is that when you have grace and beauty, it will shine through and elevate you to your proper station. The dark moral is that this only happens if you are lucky enough have a Fairy Godparent.
One hundred years ago inside the brand new Barry Hotel, an orchestra played as patrons enjoyed a 50-cent full-course dinner. Nearly 100 years later, items from inside the hotel were auctioned off after a Saskatoon veterinarian bought and decided to tear down the property that by its end had earned a reputation — fair or not — as a home for prostitutes, drug dealers and general thuggery. This is the oral history of Saskatoon’s Barry Hotel.
Great article by Jeremy Warren about one of Saskatoon’s most infamous buildings.
“It’s poverty, not the welfare programs that alleviate it, that destroys families and communities. For instance, poverty seems to prevent people from getting married. It also means that they will have little spare time for community or family life given the magnitude of the work they have to do in order to stay in housing with food and the basic necessities of life. But the fact is that this argument imagines that the poor are choosing to be poor, that they’re basically ‘independent’ prior to welfare, and ‘dependent’ after. And this is wrong. Poor people depend on the societies that engineer poverty to do something about it, and whether or not we respond to the fact that they depend on us for their ongoing life, health, and safety doesn’t erase the fact that the claim exists.”—The “Individual Mandate” Argument (via azspot)
Do you remember when a couple brought a box of shoes to donate and inside there was some blue slippers? Well there was a client who I was able to help through those slippers.
This person came to me complaining about his feet and I asked them what was wrong. They stated they had blisters and asked if I had a band-aid. I asked to look at his feet because I wanted to see how bad his feet were. They proceeded to undo their shoes and at this point I noticed they had no socks on and was wearing high leather work boots.
As the shoe came off I saw how bad their feet actually were and I knew I did not have the medical experience to help them. What I was able to do was get them some socks, and I grabbed the slippers that were just donated and brought it to them. I was assuming the slippers would be too big as they were wearing a size 7 shoe and the slippers were a 10. But when I brought them over, they fit perfect! The shoes they were wearing were 3X too small!
My next step was to get in contact with our new nurse Donna to see if she would have time to dress their feet at some point. This person has been with us for a few days and has been known to just hang around the dining area. So I knew if I was to find our nurse it wouldn’t be a problem to find them… I was wrong… the nurse came and this person was no where to be found! Turns out the socks and slippers helped out wonders and this person was walking around outside! We finally tracked them down and the nurse was able to dress his feet… by supper time I saw the first smile I have seen on this person… it totally made my day and week!
Woke up this morning to this story in my inbox from a co-worker and just had to share!
“Our throw-away culture is a symptom of our consumer culture. Our consumer culture is a symptom of our capitalistic system. Our capitalistic system is what makes this country the economic force in the world that it is, it is yet a symptom of our sin condition.”—
“Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.”—Kait Rokowski (A Good Day)
“As long as some specialised class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole⎯and, by now, that means the Global Community. The question is whether privileged élites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether Democracy and Freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly-terminal phase of human existence, Democracy and Freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.”—Noam Chomsky
I would wear gardenias and orchids
in my hair.
I would buy some hot sauce
called “Jump up and kiss me.”
I would offer it to strangers.
If I had a name like Rosie Fernandez
I would know how to tango,
I would tap dance on sidewalks.
I would fall in love insistently,
spend hours in cafes
with a broken heart
and good coffee.
Oh, if I had a name like Rosie Fernandez,
I would know it.
“October is a fine and dangerous season in America. It is dry and cool and the land is wild with red and gold and crimson, and all the lassitudes of August have seeped out of your blood, and you are full of ambition. It is a wonderful time to begin anything at all. You go to college and every course in the catalogue looks wonderful. The names of the subjects seem to lay open the way to a new world. Your arms are full of new, clean notebooks, waiting to be filled. You pass through the doors of the library and the smell of thousands of well-kept books makes your head swim with a clean and subtle pleasure. You have a new hat, a new sweater, perhaps, or a whole new suit. Even the nickels and the quarters in your pocket feel new, and the buildings shine in the glorious sun.”—