Paul C and I
talked about Dignity Village
and a day later the “Professor”
handed me a sheaf of notes:

“I’M CRAZY…TRUST ME…”

With no particular order of importance
the up and down observations
and philosophy
of a sporadically homeless person
eating, breathing and living
at Dignity Village.

Can a carpenter do brain surgery?
…or a politician solve homelessness?
I don’t think so.

Welfare begets welfare…
strips dignity, self esteem, self worth, self reliance
and sense of control.

Welcome to enthusiasm for Village success,
with ‘self help micro-housing’,
with self governance
with treasury and judiciary,
Sergeant-at-arms, CEO
and a majority of Villagers
with minimal ‘jailhouse mentality’.
And an involved outside board
of researcher, observer and Village alum
to broaden the wisdom and mediation.

And for each of us,
consult our own expectations of self
And measure by them.

Utilize and uplift individuals’ strengths
and be kind to deficiencies.

Embrace a collaborative sense of participation
and promote self worth.

Know, but don’t defend shortcomings.

Don’t forget the past.
Learn from it.
Leave it.
And keep it in the past.

Welcome social events: meals, music, movies,
presentations and outings.
Get out of the Village
at least once a week,
preferably overnight.

How true am I
to my opinions, observations and philosophy?
After two days outside the Village,
a few (2-9) cocktails and getting laid,
I have satisfied Item #6…ten more to go!

Laughter. FDA-approved
to reduce high blood pressure, stress,
insomnia, tension, anxiety, depression,
anger and occasional vertigo
with side effects of optimizing self esteem,
self reliance, self worth and overall feel good.

And my perspective about Village failures?

Negative presence
toward positive direction and accomplishments.

Destabilizing what historically worked for the Village.

Focusing on other’s faults and festering wounds
reopens scars, slows healing, and emboldens the feeling
of ‘unwanted even by the unwanted’.

Accepting ‘jail house mentality’:
intimidation, disruption, loud voices,
the ‘no snitching rule’, misdirection of fault,
missing files, lost meeting minutes,
amendments, procedures, by-laws;
protocols and rules
not updated or posted in plain sight
…and endless excuses, excuses, excuses
with justifications, justifications, justifications.
Confusion, chaos and tension.

Yes, we are a legal entity
and, Yes, we are self-governing.

Simple rules, enforced,
self-help micro-housing,
collaborative participation sweat equity
($20 a month and 10 hours a week);
social events.

Here, you are:
nuevo homeless,
sporadic homeless,
or professional homeless
…and whatever you did on the outside,
stays on the outside.

Our over-indulgent self-gratification
works in a dysfunctional way
and self-medication numbs the immediate ill,
but raises the greater hurdle.

Observing the ‘rain walk’ of pets and owners
I reflect upon hopes and visions,
their outcome never what we dream
as we play out the hand we are dealt.

Life is forever a work in progress.
My 28-years-ago-vision,
the outcome hoped for,
saved in a youthful poem,
did not predict today.
It makes me feel good however.

 
…and now it is time
to complete this chapter of my Life.

The commute. The cul-de-sac. The corporation.
The credit cards. The clock. The calendar.
Voluntary slavery in a life collecting ‘stuff’?
…or…


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