Survival Guide to Homelessness

No matter where you go, there you are.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Getting Burned

I keep telling you to be at peace with the fact that you will be stolen from, victimized, exploited, bullied, ticketed, towed, mistreated, yelled at, irritated, annoyed, harrassed, or otherwise molested. I keep telling you to be cool about it. C'est la vie. I keep telling you, but you keep thinking you can avoid it, or that you are too tough to just take it. You ought to just stand up for yourself, you're thinking. Right?

Right, I guess. Do it if you want to. Talk to the cops. Tell them where they're wrong. Fight back. See where it gets you.

Let me tell you a thing or two about being a tough guy. Every tough guy I ever knew on the streets is dead, in jail, or one day simply vanished. That's a bad record for tough guys.

Let me tell you a thing or two about me. I was a teen runaway. I engaged in all the jobs available to teen runaways. (Don't make me spell it out.) Every one of those jobs is illegal. Later I spent five years living in a car, a lifestyle which occasions contact with authorities. In my lifetime I have had no broken bones or serious injuries arising from conflicts, and I have spent precisely zero hours in a holding cell. I have never, ever, been arrested, and according to the law, I damn well should have been. That's a pretty good survival record for the peaceful.

You may say that you aren't homeless, you don't break the law, so it doesn't matter to you. I say you will still be ripped off, you will still be victimized, and a peaceful outlook is still your best weapon. You do not gain from violence.

I keep quiet when my mouth can put me in jail. I flee rather than fight. I communicate calmly with authorities. If I need to fight them, I will do it in court, and my peaceful, cooperative, silent style will make certain that I am in the best possible position to win in that arena.

Peace, my friends, is an incredibly tough defensive stand. Follow it, and you will suffer far less.


At 3:38 PM, Blogger dash bradley said...

I'm aware that your comments are directed at those who find themselves homeless, but i think this is a pretty good attitude for anyone to have. Obviously homeless people are at greater risk of violence and trouble with the law, but I can't think of anyone I know who improved their situation through violence or anger, homeless or otherwise. I find that this behavior is more prevalent among men, and I think we need to stop defining being a "man" as behaving like a child in the schoolyard, lashing out without thinking, lest you be thought of as a coward.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Zen Angel said...

I just wanted to let you know that you've been nominated for Best Blog of the Year! Congrats. I was glad to see your blog nominated, as it's one of my favorites.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

Thank you. That's really cool!

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Demon King said...

Very interesting post and website. Glad BE sent me here. Adding you to my blogroll.


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