I think Berkeley killed my compassion.

August 25, 2009

I actually like to believe that people are good.  I’m getting better at believing that they are not when they prove me very, very, very wrong.  But after the last few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that Berkeley killed my compassion.

I believe in social services to help people get back on their feet and take care of themselves.  I believe in supporting those services.

But after almost 15 years in Berkeley – I don’t think that we should carry the tab for people who make the choice not to follow social norms to the point of taking care of themselves.

Again – sounds HORRID – until you hang out in Berkeley for a little while.  There are a number of young people who live in and around People’s Park, sit on the street and live off panhandled change and social services.  They adopt animals that they can not care for – Heather watched a kitten have it’s neck wrapped in a telephone cord for almost 30 minutes waiting for Animal Services… they never came.  Some have facial tattoos and while some people will hire someone with facial tattoos it does limit future job options.  So I’m sorry but I don’t want to take care of them.  I don’t want to feed them and give them any number of social services when they are making the choice to live on the street because they don’t like the rules that society demands for living within the world.  Some may have fled a horrid home situation but there has to be another option.  I’d support a different option.  But the “gutter punks” really have killed the bulk of my compassion.  If you want to live the anarchist life style, if you want to live off the grid… so be it.  But I don’t want to pay for that decision that you have made.

Then SFGate had this article.  If you make the choice to spend the rest of your life drunk… then I respect your decision but I don’t want to pay for you to comfortably do it.  There goes the last of my compassion.

I learned something from my horrible dating experiences.  You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change.  If this is the decision you have made, I can’t unmake it for you.  But I don’t have to help you on your way.

So, yeah, I feel horrible.  I’m going to go eat chocolate pudding now.

Night.

PS:  The pudding did not help… still feel rotten.  If anyone has some compassion they are willing to barter, please let me know.  Thanks.

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