I heard a homeless man interviewed on the radio this morning. He was asked how he wanted to be treated by strangers. He simply said that he wanted people to say hello. “We’re people,” he said. “Not ghosts.”
Today in America we do not have capitalism; ours is a seriously government-controlled economy and nation, with government-controlled and dictated results and consequences, real and dangerous, with uncertain and volatile implications. These are dark times and, though many homeless are criminally insane and should be avoided for safety reasons, I agree with the wise words I heard on the radio.
So, when I see a homeless person, one we used to call a bum, I will try to remember that America is an unsteady welfare state, that it has been for decades, and that, against harsh and impossible obstacles imposed by the United States government, the bum may be desperately trying not to become a ghost.