It like everything else is…

Alex and Jean Trebek have taken time and money to address a problem in their neighbourhood. The problem was homelessness. Just recently the Trebec center was opened. The center has 107 beds and is a shelter for the unhoused.

Losing a home looks and comes differently for everyone.

  • Economic
  • Health
  • Fanily
  • Addiction
  • Coming out as LGBTQI+

All of the above can be a reason for becoming homeless. Not one person sets out with the intention of not having a home, however the current economic and property system in the United States seems to be designed to generate homelessness. Right now there are about 31 houses that are vacant for every person who needs a home. That number is a little misleading though because of the state of the houses and the unrepaired homes.The more accurate number is 21. California has a population of 151,000 unhoused and the state has 1.2 million empty properties. The issue is not housing it is greed and an economic system keeping people from having a home.

“We all know that homelessness is complicated, There is no single pathway to the streets. There’s no single intervention that ends homelessness. But there is a single remedy and it’s called love. Supporting another is loving another and the transformational power of support will surely be known at this site.

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Jean Trebek

Support for our fellow humans is not done through making oursleves wealthy at the cost of others, however making ourselves rich at the cost of others is the cornerstone of the current economic system.

“It isn’t the man who does the work that makes the money. It’s the man who gets other men to do it.”

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegies legacy is a dichotomy of good and evil. Andrew Carnegie killed workers who would not go to work for him. Killing an employee is not an act of love, it is of course evil. Later in life Carnegie gave away all his money. Building society, for 25 years Carnegie built libraries schools and fought to end imperialism. A man who benefited greatly from capitalism and imperialism fought to end all and even wrote an essay about this. In his essay on wealth Carnegie argued against the wealth gap. The gospel on wealth has made a huge impact on philanthropy and that is a great thing however it has done little to address the reasons for the welath gap.

Why should one person make 1.7 % of the salary of their employer. The median Amazon employee pay last year was 30,000 dollars. The CEO’s median income was 1,681,840. That’s right the average employee made 1.7% of the CEO. The CEO did 0 deliveries, folded no boxes, shipped nothing but was rewarded with a million dollar paycheck. This is one scenario in the United States among many. The average CEO makes 351 times more than the average employee! The wealth gap is alive and well.

Jobs are the vehicles in the United States that should lift us out of poverty and homelessness however 40 % of the homeless have jobs in the United States. Because of the design of the system, with wealth concentrated at the top the United States is becoming a nation of working homeless and sick people.

At the start of his essay on wealth Carnegie mentions how the native Americans did not have a wealth gap, but the wealth gap was a good thing because it gave the poor something to aspire too however since the time of the essay we see that 99% percent of people in the United States will never be wealthy. The truth is without the poor their can not be any rich people. This was what was left out of the essay that Carnegie wrote.

What is the answer then? how do we help the homeless and poor? Love. That is it plan and simple we must actively love each other and help each other. With love a system like the current capitalism would not last very long. Love would been dividing resources equitably amongst our fellow humans. Love would mean that abandoned and empty homes would be full of people, even if the people cant afford the rent. Love would not have eviction notices or terminations in it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love works too. It really does.

Already here, still her

The United States of America is a country geographically located on the North American continent. The founders of the country arrived on the continent in 1607. The founders survived with support from the native Americans. The native Americans understood family, religion, freedom the one concept that the native Americans seemed to not understand was land ownership. Native Americans do not treat the land as commodity, the land and nature is not a commodity that can be bought sold and used.

Humans and the the land lived together in harmony.

Currently the earth is in a major climate crisis. I have no doubt that land ownership and treating land as an individual commodity contributes to climate change and poor health for all the humans on the land.

Land should be treated as a member of the community.

Our land is more valuable than your money.  It will last forever.  It will not even perish by the flames of fire.  As long as the sun shines and the waters flow, this land will be here to give life to men and animals.  We cannot sell the lives of men and animals; therefore we cannot sell this land.  It was put here for us by the Great Spirit and we cannot sell it because it does not belong to us.  You can count your money and burn it within the nod of a buffalo’s head, but only the great Spirit can count the grains of sand and the blades of grass of these plains.  As a present to you, we will give you anything we have that you can take with you, but the land, never.

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Crowfoot, chief of the Blackfeet, circa 1885

I wish all to know that I do not propose to sell any part of my country, nor will I have whites cutting our timber along the rivers, more especially the bark.  I am particularly fond of the little groves of oak trees.  I love to look at them, because they endure the wintry storm and the summer’s heat, and–not unlike ourselves–seem to flourish by them.  

Sitting Bull, Lakota warrior, quoted in 1932

The idea of ownership is actually pretty foolish and detrimental to society instead of owners we as a person and society would be better served if we were stewards. The harm of land ownership far outweighs the benefits.

The best way we can honor the native Americans would be through understanding how the Native Americans understood the relationship with the land and their values. The current relationship with our land is broken and doing harm to everyone.

Freedom and the United States of America

There was a book I read that really resonated with me. The book was titled “Abundance” and was written by Jakob Guanzon. The book told the anxiety ridden story of a father and son living in a pick up truck. I was turned onto the book after hearing the author in an interview explain his motivation to write the book. The author was working as a day laborer on construction projects while attending college. The author wondered what the lives of those laborers looked like when they left the job site and went “home”.

For me the book shined a light on the American dream versus the reality. There are at lest 12 million children a day that live in food insecure homes in the United States of America. These children are part of families that are not living the American dream. The American dream is a way of living that involves opportunity and equality and happiness. Many community members are living in an American nightmare though ripe with no opportunity, inequity and unfortunate situations (like no access to food).

The American dream does not match the American reality for a majority of Americans. Soon in the United States it will be time to vote and every citizen should get out there and vote. I myself will vote for the person that has a plan to make the American dream a reality for all of us not just themselves. Far too often we vote for the politician that supports our personal agenda and forget that we are part of a community.

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.

The Good Earth -Pearl Buck

When you vote go ahead and vote for those that will feed the 12 million children. When you vote go ahead and vote for the politician that will work to make the American reality look like the American dream for everyone in the country and on the Earth.