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social commentary

Sketches, social commentary

Unexpected gifts from my homeless friends

perceptions towards homelessness

 

I’ve been sitting on this sketch for a few weeks now, waiting for the right time to share it with you. Paul, one of the two authors at Two Voices One Transmission asked me to create a sketch based on descriptions of several characters in this blog post. His interactions with his “favorite neighbors,” who were either homeless, or on the discarded fringes of society, resonated with me. I don’t know how well I responded to the challenge, but I certainly enjoyed creating these sketches. This also provided an opportunity to reflect on my evolving perspective towards homeless friends.

Last week I wrote about life lessons I learned while hiking the Appalachian Trail. (If you’d like to read it, you can visit here.) I spoke at length about the hardships (and perks) of living as a homeless hiker. But the thing is, I wasn’t really “homeless.” If things became too difficult, I knew my patient wife would be waiting with open arms. There were only a handful of nights (out of 166) that I struggled to find a place to sleep at night. I lost an unhealthy amount of weight, but access to food was rarely the issue. And while the typical long-distance hiker looks (and smells) like a feral creature, there was no shortage of “hiker-friendly” towns and homes that welcomed us, some even celebrated the fact that we were walking the woods for a really long time.

My homeless friends don’t have the luxury of a support system. No friends and family back home to send encouragement or care packages. They don’t have credit cards in their pack that they can pull out when the urge to dip into town for a hot meal and a shower becomes overwhelming. Rather than being celebrated for enduring a challenging existence, the homeless often face ostracism and attacks. A life like this doesn’t strike me as fun, or inspirational. And it certainly isn’t glorious.

But this isn’t always a recipe for despair.

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Guest Post, social commentary

Where have all the good men gone?

wonder woman quotes

Movies inspired by Marvel and DC Comics characters create a series of 2.5-hour immersions into worlds of fantasy. Through our 3-D glasses, we connect with Iron Man. When he shrugs off explosions to thwart the evil intentions of the villain de jour, we feel the jolt. Even when we don the cape of the tragically flawed (but well-intentioned) Batman, we feel the exhilarating rush of having just enough superhuman ability to win the day. For 2.5hrs (not including trailers), the answer to the “where have all the good men gone” question is satisfyingly obvious.

 

WE are the “good men;” and we’re going wherever we’re needed most.  

 

DC Comics just turned this “where have all the good men gone question” on its head in a wonderfully satisfying twist with the release of Wonder Woman. I would love to extol the virtues of a woman who transcends the stereotypical damsel in distress, is a compassionate yet powerful role model, and manages to captivate us with charisma rather than witty one-liners. Instead, I have to turn the soapbox over to Steelcharmer. He won’t give us exclusive access to his lunch with President Trump next week if I don’t share his letter about the dangers of movies like Wonder Woman first.

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