After walking in the march to the mayor’s office yesterday, I was talking with my housemate Jim about how, in my 70 years, even though I’ve taken many risks, some of them economic, I’ve always known that if I ever fell, I would land softly, in a safety net of relationship, both friends and family. That “homelessness” had never been an option.
Because I knew that I was so blessed, it has been easier for me to take bigger risks than I might have otherwise. To think bigger, do more, serve others, and let go periodically of what no longer serves me.
I have a sense that at the foundation of homelessness is the lack of this kind of social safety net. Rather than connectedness, some people feel and live in a world of separation; when “down on their luck,” — for whatever reason — they tend to fall through the cracks.
As the unraveling of our rapacious capitalistic society of mind-controlled so-called “rugged individualists” accelerates, we are going to find out just how many of us do feel disconnected, separate, and therefore very very fearful. Not wanting to take risks. Needing to hold on, preserve the status quo, and suffering greatly when “the bottom falls out from under” them.
In other words, in order to shift the direction of our future, we need only to reconnect. To put our primary value here, right here, on relationships. We need to spend our days weaving strong, resilient nets of relationship, family, neighbors, and friends. This reconnectedness will, in turn, dissolve all our problems, including homelessness, into the flow of Love that fills and fuels the universe.
I write this on the day when the Occupy Homesslessness group (that’s what I call this group of stalwart activists) have decided to stage a non-violent protest: tonight, in city hall, they will hold an illegal sleepover in the foyer. But first, they plan to greet city council members and attend their weekly 7:30 p.m. meeting, sleeping bags in tow.
And I write this on a day when the local paper announces that 26 people in low-cost “chapter eight” housing are soon to be evicted, due to a technical glitch when their apartment complex was sold to a new owner. The noose tightens.
In view of these local developments, I thought this chapter from the book, Wealth of the Commons, might serve as a primer for the necessity of transforming our overall framework for viewing life, lifestyle, property, ownership, caring, relationships, etc. —enough to begin the great unleashing of joyful creativity that will, like day follows night, follow when we open our hearts enough to deeply share.
“It’s fitting that the title [Share or Die] was inspired by a homeless man, for we are moving toward a condition of collective homelessness through the destruction of our environment.” — Neal Gorenflo, publisher of the on-line community and magazine, sharable.net, and author of this essay.