Commentary by Kim “Supermutt” Goodman
In the world today there is a lot of stress and a lack of love and compassion for one another. The problem that we face is greed. People care more about money than about people. Corporate greed is what caused Americans to lose a lot of jobs in 2007 and 2008. In my opinion, fear of not making a profit is what caused a lot of youth to have too much free time on their hands. The lack of love is what causes a lot of people to abuse and neglect each other. Not feeling loved is what makes a lot of people make a lot of negative mistakes in their lives not feeling a part makes a lot of youths turn to gangs.
The most important thing we must do in order to fix our society is to accept that our community is in trouble. Accepting allows us to open our mind up so that we can better understand the problems around us and why they exist. We must stop blaming each other, the government, the cities we live in, the rich, the poor, the mentally ill, the chemically dependent, homeless people, and anything else we can find to blame. Before you make a negative statement about our society or about people in it you have to ask yourself, “What am I doing to make the world a better place?”
In order for our society to thrive new jobs must be created without boundaries. Many people were taught to fear becoming their own boss because they are constantly reminded that they might fail. Well, if a person works at a job it is no guarantee that they will keep their job until retirement. A lot of factory workers found that out when their component shut down, a lot of security guards learned that when they are replaced by a camera system and cashiers found that out when self-check lines were installed at their job. Society taught us that we are supposed to get a job work 20+ yards and retire. For 20 or more years we are supposed to work hard for a limited amount of money and result of our work is making a small group of people who barely do any work rich. Many times our employers may us the minimum and expect us to give them our all.
Society taught us to depend on the government. People who work many times do it because they feel they need the government to take money out of their check so they can have income when they retire. Anyone who wants to start their own business, anyone who can afford to start their own business, anyone who is eligible for a grant to start a business should. The person should not fear being their own boss. The best way to ensure success in a business is to read the employees’ with respect and hire those who are often overlooked. Hire people with disabilities because they usually put their heart into their work and all you have to do for them is compliment their work from time to time. They usually require a lot of praise and acknowledgement but they are eager to please. Hire people who with criminal records; having a job will keep many of them from returning back to prison or jail. Hire people who are homeless. Many times they are happy to work and help them with their housing. Hire teenagers and teach them money management skills. Giving an employee something more than a paycheck will make them more loyal to your business. Don’t forget to save money for your retirement.
In order for our communities to be a better and safer place the people in it must be willing to invest their time and money. There needs to be activities for everyone. Most communities have planned activities for their senior citizens, but not enough for their youth and their residents with disabilities. If they had activities for youth, it would be something positive for the community and keep young people from terrorizing our streets. Keep in mind that every woman who had a child is not a mother and every man who created a child is not a father. A lot parents have kids and expect schools and society to raise them. Take a few empty lots and turn them into playgrounds and basketball courts. Make more community centers with structured activities. Teach skills that people need to know for their future. Create a place for people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and autism so they can connect with people.
If we want the next generation of kids to grow up strong we need to create a safety net for them. Offer parenting classes for mothers and fathers. Any mother who applies for public assistance or food stamps, any mother who has a case with child services and a teenage girl who gets pregnant should all have to take parenting classes. There should be a special housing programs for children in foster care. Teach the young adults how to have a more productive life such as money management skills or how to relate to people. Keep in mind that juvenile homes are big institutional facilities that do not create loving home environments. We need to create more mentoring programs for boys whose do not have fathers in their lives. Pair them with a positive male role model, so that they can learn to be strong men. Create a support group for people who lack family support, so that people without families can lookout for one another.
The last thing that everyone needs to understand is that there is more to life than just money. God created us in His image to love and care about each other. He wants us to use money and objects to benefit so that we can be content and happy. A lot of people love money and material things and only use people for their own benefit. We all need to understand that no matter what race we are, or religious believe we follow or other differences we have, we all have the same needs and feelings. We all have a need to feel loved, give love and be accepted for who we are. If a person doesn’t feel loved they often spend a lot of valuable time looking for it. They often feel empty or they often get hurt in the end. If a person does not feel acceptance they often develop a negative self-image. If a person does not feel a part of a family or part of any type of group or community, they often waste a lot of time seeking a sense of belonging.
People are so quick to judge and criticize each other. Instead of using all that energy to tear a person down what about trying to lift a person up? If we took the time to meet the needs others in return our needs will get met. It takes more effort to hate and hurt them that it does to love. Hate leads to anger and misery and love leads to happiness. It is also more rewarding to help others.
Copyright Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless Street Chronicle October 2014 Cleveland Ohio