September 14, 2019-
I went over to Farmers’ Market, this morning, and found more of a subdued mood. I’m not sure what is going on, but I basically bought what I was planning to get, and did not get into any conversations-even normally friendly people were very much into themselves. A harpist, who was playing as a featured musician, was emotionally very distant from any of the people walking by. I liked her music, and left a tip, as usual, but with no acknowledgement.
There was quite a bit more animation at Prescott Stand Down, our annual distribution of clothing and outdoor equipment to veterans who are in varying degrees of homelessness. It is indicative of our community’s positive outlook towards the homeless, that a dedicated park for their feeding and recreation has been established through a partnership of community agencies and the Hilton Corporation, after the latter took out a long-term lease on city property that had been the site of a squatters’ camp. The displaced can now at least get a meal on Saturday (typically an off-day for other groups that feed during the week or on Sundays. There are also maintained toilets and paths for walking.
At my last meeting of the day, planning Hope Fest, which takes place two weeks from today, an offhand remark was made about how girls do well to be a bit sassy. I believe that speaking up for oneself is a very basic skill, that ALL children should be taught. My young charge of yesterday has been so taught. So are several children who were present at this planning meeting. They will be higher-functioning adults, as a result.
What happens when a child is oppressed and battered, on the other hand, has been chillingly borne out by the behaviour of a person whom I tried to help, last Fall, only to to encounter resistance and personal attacks. This same one has tried to get me to resume contact. The old saw- “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” comes into play. The needs of such a person go far beyond what one individual can provide. I leave that matter to the wider community.
On the other hand, working with organized groups remains a source of fulfillment. I don’t regard being part of a team as either an act of cowardice or an attempt to dodge personal responsibility, as a few have suggested, elsewhere. There are simply a good many social tasks, even involving one troubled individual, which cannot be done well by a person acting alone. I have lost a few friends over the above-mentioned issue, but my take remains as described here.