Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dispelling the Stereotypes

Helping the homeless does involve things like giving money, or donating clothing, but the most important piece that truly will cause a chain reaction is understanding and dispelling homeless stereotypes. The best tool is always knowledge, because knowledge leads to action and evokes emotion and drive. Although some homeless people are in the situation they are in because of unhealthy lifestyle or financial choices, they now cannot go back in time and change what happened. In order to help the homeless, we must move forward from the past and the mistakes they've made because there's truly nothing that can be done about the past.
Respecting homeless people as individuals with unique situations is also vital in understanding how to help them. How can you better the life of another when you don't respect them? Educating people about their situation, their beliefs and ideals as human beings, will only personalize this growing issue. When homeless people stop being the statistic, and start becoming fellow neighbors reaching out for help, reaching out for an answer, people will be more likely to respond.
It's difficult to change someone when a predispositioned bias is already lingering in their mind. As I stated before, we cannot change the past, but must move forward and do what we can with what we have. Maybe we should stop looking at homeless people as the central issue, and move more towards the real issue; humanitarianism. We should centralize our efforts on changing the attitudes each party portrays and emphasize the importance of living in a non-judgemental community. I believe that if people would take a moment a day, and think of someone else, the world could truly be a better place. Homelessness is not the issue, people's attitudes and actions need to change before we can even begin to address this epidemic.

3 comments:

  1. gosh Emma - we were just talking about this today..

    ReplyDelete
  2. A simple idea, yet so easy to lose sight of: respect as a starting point for developing understanding & generating change.

    Thanks for a great blog post. I'm sharing it on my facebook ...

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