>I got a great note today from a subscriber to The Napkin Dad Daily. She works with the homeless every day and just wrote to express her appreciation for the daily encouragement she gets from this blog. That means a lot to me! I drew this in honor of her efforts in life.
Category Archives: Garry Trudeau
Mar 11 comments
As funny as this is, it’s unfortunate that some really do think that the homeless are just out on the street trying to milk a system, avoid work, being irresponsible about life in general. I am not saying there are not some that do those things. Of course there are, just as there are people in upper middle class enclaves trying to avoid paying taxes and and wanting to get more than they deserve from the work they do. Those feelings of entitlement and being owed are not the exclusive domain of the poor or homeless.
The truth however, is that most homeless are just as complex as you are. They have reasons they don’t understand for why they chose to stay away from family homes, shelters, protected spaces. I know, I have had a few in my family that I have seen go through it.
They are afraid. Afraid of being controlled, of being given medication that will ‘infect’ them. They are afraid of disappointing others so they stay away from them. They are afraid of being a burden so they choose to forego contact with those they love.
There is a high probability that they have a brain disease. I know I am not saying ‘mental illness’, why not? I don’t like those words. They still smack of something the person has control over, as if they chose to think the way they do. But the words ‘brain disease’ is closer to the truth.
Would you say you have a ‘movement illness’ if you had a broken leg? No, you would say a specific part of you is hurt, the bone in your leg. Same with your brain. It is a specific part of your body with specific ways it works or doesn’t work. It can be fixed in many cases, just as a bone can be set and then heal. Even though ‘mental’ describes the process your brain engages in, it is not the physical elements of your brain.
When you see someone who is homeless it is fine to be wary, it is fine to keep safe. But don’t project your egotistical self-righteousness on them by saying ‘I wouldn’t be like that’ or ‘stupid scum, they are taking my hard-earned tax dollars’. Ask questions instead; Who is that person? How must their father or mother be in pain not being able to help them? What kind of compassion and help can I give, even if it isn’t hands-on?
You won’t contribute to the downfall of western (or eastern) civilization by caring for people, really.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Garry Trudeau, 1948-not dead yet, American cartoonist, author of Doonesbury comic strip. Did you know that Mike Doonesbury, the lead character in the comic strip is from Tulsa, Oklahoma?