Monday, August 30, 2010

What in the world I am doing?

   Ok, so a while ago I sat with my daughter and I asked her how she was doing.  Her answer was, "Horrible."  As a father, I could see the genuine concern in her eyes and I asked her what was wrong and she said, "everything."  Few men are willing to engage in such a debate with a 14 year-old girl who is very intelligent, but I could not resist.
   My daughter was sad.  She told me about all of the things that were bothering her.  She was very precise as far as all of the things that were bothering her.  She was sad that we are a nation at war.  She was sad that there was a global warming and homelessness.  She was frustrated that there were certain cities she could not live in because she could not breathe the air.  She asked why there were these things and many more.  More importantly, she asked me what I was going to do about it.
   I am sad that I do not have more to offer my daughter.  I am sad that I cannot give her everything that she wants.  So what are my responsibilities to her and what are your responsibilities to your children and our legacy to the future in general?  I believe that we have the greatest responsibility to give them what they need.
   The Waiverly Project is about just that; changing the world for my daughter and others changing the world for their children.  Our children deserve a better world than the world that we had and have now.  How do we do this?  I tend to vibe with the idea that to focus on one thing that you are passionate about is commendable.  To dedicate your life to the erradication of some negative ideal, or the implementation of some positive action is commendable.  I, however, have chosen to go another route. 
   I think that it is important that we look at all sides of the world, so to speak.  I think it is important that I look at and do what I can about well, everything.  Robert Browning has said that "man's reach should exceed his graps, else what is a Heaven for?"  We cannot do the work alone, nor can we do it all within one generation.  The work will be ongoing and will continue for generations to come. 
   I think it is imperative that we at times look at the world as a whole.  I think we must take on the construction of the new world with a vigor that our children deserve.  I think that we have to work very hard, especially in this day and age, to provide for our children a solid world of tomorrow.
   I think that everything is connected.  Everything in our world is linked in some way, shape, form, and fashion and The Waiverly Project is my way of raising awareness of these links.  The Waiverly Project is my way of raising awareness of the things that make this world work and raising awareness of the things that are destroying it.  The Waiverly Project is my way of raising my daughter.
    The Waiverly Project seeks to support non-profit organizations that help change the world in positive ways.  It does this by creating special events, projects, networking, and raising awareness and funds for people and companies that are doing amazing things in amazing ways and on a personal note, learning about them.  I know some amazing people and my daughter is at the top of that list.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How to be Homeless...Part 1

At this point, I am not where many people are or would be at this point if this were a real thing. I sit in the AC while the Southern sun blazes outside. I have just finished eating a doughnut from the Dunkins up the road and I am drinking coffee from Starbucks. Still, where are the people now who really will be homeless this time next week. How many people are sitting right now, pouring over a mound of bills wondering what they are going to do for food and shelter this time next week?

As a sometimes writer, I have always been more facinated by what causes a story to unfold and what happens after the close of a story than the story itself. What were the events that led up to where we the viewer or reader enters the story. When one sees a man on the street, digging through the trash, we think for a moment about what may have led him there whether it be drugs, alcohol, mental illness or something of the like. Then the thought is gone. Whatever it is, it has to be said that it is something more complicated than that.

In all honesty, this part is hard and scary and I know that I will face quite a few challenges in the next week. Will they be as many and as deep as someone who has no or very little chance of changing their circumstance. I can back out at any moment, but the person who is truly in this situation, 4 days prior to being homeless, is slowly watching the options dwindle, waiting for the knock at the door and wondering what calls they can make. They know that the moment is coming and they are looking around, trying to figure out what they can take with them and what can be left behind.

Some people have deeper and different problems than that. We can say that there is a person for whom the world does not make sense and at this time, they are dealing with it, but how? This person does not know how to deal with what is going on and the people around them do not know how to deal with them. Often, like a filter, they are slowly wicked away from the all that they know and see as familiar. They may have started in a loving family, and then, with the onset of tragedy and or mental illness, they are drawn away from that family, that security. So, then the slide continues to cheap apartments, group homes, shelters and various permutations thereof until finally, the street. Through various institutions that do not or cannot take the time to get to know them, and in essence, place a band-aid on a bullet wound by medicating or simply staying the problem until finally the person is sleeping in the street,

I am an avid camper and outdoorsman, I am sure it will not be the same. I feel like I am cheating, when I walk around Atlanta and I look at all the places where I could "hide" and sleep safely. It is not cheating, really is it? How many people walking around me are thinking the same thing. How many more people around me are week from being on the street?