Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whose life is it anyway?

Another story that has been in the news the past couple of weeks is the homeless man with the golden voice who was "discovered" and given an opportunity to make something of his life. It was a gem of good news, a feel good story squeezed in with the perplexing bad news, and it warmed our hearts. We believed in him.

However, from the snippets of info we have been given about his life, this man has been "on the streets" for fourteen years. He is a drug addict, alcoholic, and a panhandler. Though his addictions may have forced that lifestyle on him, it is what he knows, and perhaps what he prefers. It has probably gotten him out of responsibilities, too.

Now Middle America is offering him a change for what seems to us a better way to live. But we can't just uproot someone from his surroundings, from all he has known, and expect him to meet our expectations. If this is something he truly wants, I suspect he can make it, but the culture of the familiar street will have a strong pull.

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