Friday, January 1, 2010

eating my words

I wish I had a greater capacity for compassion. I was reading some of my older posts, namely this one. Yikes. Not too proud of how angry and judgmental I sounded. I know that drug addiction often stems from a person's need to escape a past that is painful beyond words... whether it be abuse, abandonment or a plethora of other reasons that can begin when the individual is just a child. And that the only way to escape that pain is to eventually run into the dark hole of addiction. This is a tough subject for me. I hate that homes and vehicles in my neighbourhood are constantly broken into so that someone can get their next fix. But I do believe that no one on the street truly wants to live that way. And that they have hopes and dreams just like the rest of us.

Jacob has started asking the difficult questions when we walk by and he sees the homeless sprawled in alleyways or huddled inside bus shelters. On the one hand, the glib side of me is tempted to tell him that the guy sleeping on a piece of cardboard is there because he didn't eat his vegetables or listen to his mother. But of course, for me to say that to my son is irresponsible and absurd.

The next time Jacob asks again, I will tell him the truth: that I don't know exactly why the man is sleeping on a piece of cardboard in the middle of winter and that I am sorry he is cold and doesn't have a home or a bed... And I will tell Jacob that I hope that man has a mommy out there somewhere who loves him as much as I love my boy.

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