Side of the River vs Upstream…

Every number has a face...

“I am a part of all whom I have met.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet-

I have the best job in the World. I get to wake up everyday to what makes the New York Times puzzle and the Rubik’s Cube together seem like primary grade school addition/subtraction questions. With not enough time or money or resources, I get a chance, DAILY, to work with amazing people as -together- we lift vulnerable people out of the raging waters of homelessness, to a safe and secure place they can call “home.”

Currently, one family shelter has 27 children (aged 3 weeks to 16 years old) and 20 adults (14 women and 6 men)— ALL of them having no idea where they will be living in thirty days when their HUD mandated time limits expire. No funding for transitional homes. No jobs available (nationally, nearly a half million jobs are being LOST each and every month), and leadership (???) in our nation’s capital absent in every room.

I know all of these people’s first names and their life stories. They are my heroes. They exhibit courage in the face of adversity on a weekly, daily, HOURLY basis, and put to shame those who are so self-indulgent (but financially more stable) than these humble clients. I will humbly and proudly stay on the side of the river helping to pull needing people out of the raging rapids of Life that they find themselves in.

At some point…where is it?…the “spiritual anemia” that cripples those who think, “I’ve got mine- let others suffer…” is pitiful and sad, at best. Whether it’s our “leaders” (???) at the national, state, or local level, and the businesses or individuals who are usually delusional enough with themselves to think they might be “important” or “smart” …it is more critical than ever to go “upstream” to repair the Bridge of Humanity that allows a continuing larger number of children, women, and men to fall into the swirling and drowning waters of no roof over the heads.

This Film will be finished; it will change lives- it WILL make a statement that we CAN, should, and WILL do a better job in America to assure that ALL people have basic air, water, food, AND…….(capitalism be DAMNED)….shelter. Balancing “pulling from the side of the river” and “leaving to go upstream” is a challenge. Faith is what nourishes me (oh, and the two-day old bakery pastries we get donated to the shelter sometimes….) :-)

Materialistic hedonism and compassionate humanity need not be mutually exclusive. Someone soon- I probably haven’t met this “angel” yet- will recognize that for a fraction of the cost of their wine cellar, their monthly alcohol bill, their running from destination-to-destination seeking to find “something” other than themselves, their sabotaging of their own and others’ lives, they can find peace and tranquility and honor and salvation—by helping to Change the World for the better.

“Just Because.” I believe that will happen soon. I do.

I have the BEST job in the World, working with the most inspiring and hardest working co-staff I’ve ever seen. Their dedication puts me to shame.

The 27 children and 20 adults currently there? They’re awesome. They need help. They’re my heroes. Things will work out—if nothing else, all I can give them is Hope. In the meantime, I got to take a break to read stories to children after lunch; and even trusted enough to let a four-year-old snap his first picture on my camera.

He has no where to go but “up” with his choice of subjects….

photography by joey...

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3 Responses to Side of the River vs Upstream…

  1. christine says:

    Beautifully written Dan! “No amount of money will make you happy if you aren’t happy with yourself”. All should give themselves the gift of true happiness, to extend a helping hand to their fellow humans. No wine will taste so good, no material thing has any true value, no sunset seen from a cruise ship will be as vibrant til the heart has given to the world in such a way that changes lives for the better. Keep on keepin’ on Dan. Although I am sure you feel like a grain of sand on the ‘beach of life’ sometimes in your efforts, the beach is made up of many grains of sand together. Your ‘team players’ will be found soon. Our father will be proud of your photo captured soon, of the many of miles of ‘ beach’ that can be seen, recognized, and resolved world wide, because of your work. <3

    • christine says:

      P.S. – Let them feel your love. These children and young people will inherit our earth, and as they have been treated, so will they treat others.♥

    • admin says:

      Thanks Christine…. these folks are my Heroes. If “there is no Courage with the absence of Fear” then THESE folks are very Courageous on a Daily basis. They amaze me continuously.

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