I solve the problems of homelessness and addiction

[Note: This post was written in Portland,  and we have seen homelessness here all about, people sleeping in streets and doorways. In one instance we were walking down the sidewalk within a few feet of a bearded and poorly dressed man, and I was approached by a woman hawking some snake oil having to do with travel. I kindly refused her invitation to listen to her presentation. The man a few feet away said “Well, she didn’t want to talk to me.” He knew what what up, his perceptions are keen enough.]

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There are nagging problems in this world that seem never to be solved … addiction and homelessness, for instance. I think the underlying presumption in the minds of those we call “right-wingers” and “progressives” is that the person suffering the problem is helpless.

I have already alienated the pwoggies by suggesting that mental illness is wildly overstated, so I might as well go one step further and suggest that helplessness and victimhood are as well.

I don’t truck with right wingers in these matters … I don’t care about bootstraps or economic betterment because that usually involves some form of wage slavery, or what was referred to in the sixties as “selling out.” In right-wing authoritarian type of mind, these problems are solved by getting a job, working 40,60,80 underpaid hours a week in submission to some over-important cracker. That is just another manner of destruction of the human spirit … and not “empowerment.” (But keep at it, son, and some day you too can be a cracker!)

But the pwoggies are no closer to answers with their shelters and shrinks and drugs. These people are down, seemingly defeated, and possibly on the way out. If there is to be redemption, it has to come from inside. If it does not come from there, it will not happen.

It will not be found in drugs, twelve-stepping, religious faith or getting a job. For each person the answer, if one exists, is buried under a life of defeat that results in resignation of the spirit. For each person redemption comes from that same source. To step in that person’s life and “do for” him or her is to further rob the spirit. Just as giving a person money robs that person of ambition, so too does stepping in to solve  spiritual problems result in robbing the spirit.

But a bed is nice, and so is food. If we can provide that and dispense with all the other bullshit, maybe these people can find some dignity in knowing that there is a tomorrow. Each one has unique qualities, though perhaps drugs and booze have done so much physical destruction that only a skeleton remains. Even so, the recovery journey has to come from self-leadership and self-discovery. Otherwise, it will not happen.

Keep the shrinks away, however. They ain’t got a clue. Keep the preachers away. They are false leaders. Keep the right wingers and pwoggies away … each has a roadmap to a dead-end.

So I tend to agree that food and shelter are necessary to help the homeless people among us. But that is about all I can offer as a solution, and imagine that I am no closer to the answer than anyone else. These are, after all, complex humans, each one a riddle.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
This entry was posted in American wilderness. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I solve the problems of homelessness and addiction

  1. just another bouldarian says:

    Food and a bed is not a solution. It is the baseline every human needs to begin to find solutions. You elitist armchair pontificaters are all alike. Old rich white males sitting on the hill overlooking all the rest of the prols thinking you have all the answers. But you all have exactly zero experience with that with which you think you are so enlightened about.

    You self admittedly offer no solutions but food and bed, yet you headline your drivel with hubris as you claim to have solved addiction and homelessness. You are nothing more than a pompous, elitist ass.

    Like

    • Well, self-effacing humor is lost on you apparently. I don’t have solutions. You cannot mend a broken spirit from without. It has to come from within. So all we can do, and should do, is try to give them food and shelter, but otherwise leave them alone. This post is aimed at those who think they can 12-step them, convert them or otherwise save them.

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  2. Big Swede says:

    We need to encourage 2 parent families instead of discouraging them. Drug abuse, incarceration and unemployment are more prevalent in children brought up in single parent households.

    As far as the 12 step program is concerned I agree with the statement that its better than no treatment at all.

    Interesting pro and con on the 12 step here.

    http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/04/defense-12-step-addiction

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    • The article you cite is remarkably short of specifics, and is in essence an appeal to authority. I realize that there is a [small] recovery rate in AA, but the recovery comes from inside the individuals who want a better life, and not from without. They seek help, and find it all along right where it was from the beginning … In the mirror.

      I don’t know for two-parent and all of that. It is my impression that people that grew up in untroubled environments are kind of unimaginative and boring.

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      • jimmyk says:

        Nothing funnier than a couple of normies gossiping about 12 step fellowships. If you ain’t a drunk or addict, then you don’t got a clue about the hell of active addiction, or what it takes to get clean and be in recovery. The ignorant pick yourself up by the bootstrap method you recommend is a recipe for every addict’s end state: jails, institutions or death. There are other ways, but nobody would ever find them listening to you. You sound like a tough love sort of guy who would watch a loved one or friend die from addiction instead of showing some compassion and supporting them however they want to recover.

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      • I just reread the post, and did not find where I said it was easy. I am merely saying if motivation does not come from within, no method is effective. Recidivism is high precisely because the straight life has no lasting appeal. It is spiritual and physical. Enormously difficult.

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  3. Pingback: Some Thoughts on Harm Reduction | Reptile Dysfunction

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