Lately, I’ve been comparing my ideas to the ones I had 10 years ago and understanding why did I have them back then and why have they changed over the years.
More specifically, I was thinking about the homeless: while growing up, I was taught to dislike if not hate the homeless, because they were not working.
What? That’s it? Just because they were not working?
They hadn’t done anything wrong to me or to anyone else, and most times they were just laying there being all homeless and stuff.
But society and my family said that working gives us dignity, for some reason, and hard-working people were regarded as honorable or successful, hence the homeless were regarded as dishonest and lazy at best, criminals and drug addicts at worse.
Pretty much, until my early 20’s everyone around me said the homeless chose to beg and live on the streets, and I believed them of course, because why, why would they lie to me?
No one ever bothered to challenge that statement or somehow lead me to think there may be something else to it.
They taught me what to think, instead of teaching me how to think.
To be fair, there is a minority of people who choose to be homeless in Japan because they get fed up with the stress of the 9 to 5 life, but for most homeless, everywhere else in the world, it wasn’t really a choice of them to make, they just ended up there.
They were either born in the streets and didn’t know anything better, lost their jobs/homes on some unfortunate chain of events titled anywhere from recession, to corruption, to financial crisis or got caught up in some destructive or addictive substance or behavior made, very conveniently, readily available as a legal way of coping with some of that stress.
But they didn’t choose to be homeless, they ended up being homeless, because at some point in their lives they realized, that it was just too much for them, that they couldn’t keep up, they had stayed behind, and they had lost the rat race.
Some others just realized, that they were left behind, because they failed to adapt, to a profoundly sick society.