I wanted to seek a little clarity in this idea that I have. I find that writing sometimes helps with that process.
While we were at Sunday Morning in the Garden yesterday 3 people living in the Garden asked me to take them to Florida... this week. 2 women and 1 man.
When I said yes, they became extremely excited. One woman, Anastasia said, "I feel like I'm pressing the play button on my life."
But I have really mixed feelings about it all. I'm going to lay out a pros and cons list here and see if that helps make sense of it all.
Pros of taking them to Florida
- This would be an interesting experiment to see how surroundings affect a person. Would a new venue give any of them an opportunity to try something new in their life?
- It would be nice to drive to Florida in February.
- It's going to be 70 degrees and sunny where we're headed.
- I know we'd have fun on our drive.
- I get stuck in the rut of my life just like homeless people. Forcing myself out of my comfort zone would be good for me.
- What if one of them used the opportunity to do something really different in their life? (I don't believe a life of drugs and tent living is a bad life. It's only bad if it's not what you really want. And truthfully, if it REALLY wasn't what you wanted you'd probably change.)
- There is a tent city where we are headed. Maybe I could talk to some people there and learn about it a bit.
- It adds to my overall experiences in the homeless work.
- Getting to spend 17 hours in a car with 3 homeless people is likely going to help me learn some new things about them.
Cons of taking them to Florida
- Chances are very good that they will find other homeless people in Florida and end up with the same issues they have here but just down there.
- I have always really disliked just giving away big things. I once gave a car to a young man that lived next to me. I think it ultimately became a tool to do more crime and caused him to go right back to jail.
- I'll miss my family while I'm gone. I feel guilty about leaving them.
- I feel guilty about not working at least while I'm driving.
- Why do they get this thing and other people don't?
- It's extra money that I don't need to spend personally.
- I just feel more comfortable staying at home and not making the effort.
- Make them work for it: Get their birth certificates and IDs and then help them get on a plane to fly to Florida. Or get on a bus.
(This didn't really help me much at all. I think it just comes down to not really wanting to make the effort. But maybe that's an instinct that I need to listen to.)
My feeling is: I'm not super excited about this journey. But I AM excited about helping them get on an airplane. Maybe that's the route I need to go. It's kind of like a "teach them how to fish" sort of mentality.