In the 60’s I joined
Poverty in the big city is criminal. It robs kids of human dignity. I thought I knew poverty until I saw real poverty first hand. And yet I know that people in 3rd world nations know a poverty that is even more devastating. I saw young children wait until the milk man was delivering milk to someone’s step and they would run and grab milk from the back of the truck to have something to eat. I saw this almost daily. It was their only breakfast. They we thieves at the age of 5 or 6. I saw very young girls offering themselves up late at night to make money. I saw very young children 5 or 6 years old on the streets very late at night. I saw gangs that hated each other and fought and sometimes killed each other.. I saw life having no meaning to youth and them playing Russian Roulette to pass the time (A terrific kid I knew killed himself this way). When life was so miserable, people didn’t care if they lived or died. People just lived one day at a time. I saw drug addicts making a score and drunks falling down on the street outside the teen club.
|Street kids peeking into The Spot to see what is going on.|
It was so easy to become a part of them. They immediately accepted me when they knew I accepted them. It began with something as simple as seeking out an aspirin for a girl who had a bad headache. No one ever cared if she hurt or not. She told me after giving it to her what a big thing that was. Showing love, respect and that I cared made it easy to join their community. They taught me much more than I ever did for them. They taught me to love their cultures, their Catholic faith, their traditions, their food, their friendships and their value.
It was my job to help guide local teens and keep a teen club open to keep the teens off the street. Of course it only did kept them off the streets temporarily. They still had to go back to their poverty, poor schools, abusive parents, drugs and alcohol and they still spent a great deal of time on the street. I remember a young girl I cared for very much being offered a full scholarship to
Your best lessons come from life experiences. As humans we seem to need to learn our lessons the hard way and don’t listen when we should. It is part of being human.
Be happy and God bless you.