It was an adventurous and challenging week traveling through South County this week. I was in the midst of trying to see how the month was looking. I had a chance to catch up with those people from street corners in Laguna Niguel throughout the past week.
One of the first ones I had a chance to chat with was an old timer of sorts. I started the conversation to see how she was coming along. I had seen her across from the Old County Court House and at Vons up from the Federal Building trying to see what she could do to make money. She was at Vons taking a break from her daily breaks. She is disabled and is not able to work. I asked her what she had done to take advantage of the Public and Private Resources available. She said that she had tapped into all of them. I was surprised when she noted that the folks at 211.Org were not able to be of much help and ended up hanging up the phone on her. She shared her thoughts about how she was precluded from being helped by all the illegals out there. She talked about how she was aiming to get enough money saved up to get her motor home repaired and back on track. I also heard in amazement as she shared how others tried to compete for space to get the more lucrative spots on street corners. She talked about how cops were called out. As I wished her well and went off to my other commitments I saw one of the other voices that inspired me to begin “Voices”.
I had seen them a few times at Costco. I finally worked up the courage to walk up for a chat after a rather trying day. They did remember me and I wanted to see how they were doing. I was struck by how they had worked to transform themselves. The Lady noted that she had begun to make the rounds in anticipation of Christmas hiring. The gentleman was starting to be offered daily construction jobs that allowed them to avoid sleeping in their cars. They were starting to have a roof over the head at a Motel. She told me that it was not the “best”, but it allowed them to feel “normal” again. As I wished them well, I was inspired by them because I thought that this was the spirit that would carry us all through the challenging times that we face here and now.
As I continued to think about those voices, I saw the Veteran sitting by his corner off Alicia. I was on the lookout for him to see whether he had a chance to visit the Laguna Hills Veterans Center to maybe help with him to get back on his feet. As I walked up to him he was in great spirits and offered me some candy. I had some crackers that I dropped off that he could snack on as I asked him how things were. He reminded me about the predicament he faced about little prospects for someone at 83 to get a job. I talked to him about the Laguna Hills Veterans Services and wondered whether he had sought out their help. He shared with me that he had but he had dropped the ball. He also noted that he was on Social Security and thought he had some sort of Medicare Coverage. I urged him to seek out the VA so that they could help him. He told me he would. As I traveled up Alicia this morning though to a meeting, he was still there at 8:00 AM manning that corner.
As I thought about these poor souls, I thought about Wednesday. After all the slogans, the speeches and the polls, what is going to happen Wednesday. Wednesday is day after tomorrow. The results will be known by late Tuesday night and all of us will get some sense of what our communities, our State and our country will take starting on Wednesday. What I fear isi that in this blind quest for power such voices who want a chance to start again and to make good will be forgotten in the halls of Congress, State Capitols and City Halls. As the votes start to be counted Tuesday night, what is needed is for all who win to be courageous enough to understand and embrace governing. Governing is about coming together, about compromising and truly going beyond the now and thinking about the next generation. When people in power admit their true intentions about insuring that President Obama is a one-term President, that is not governing. It is about a naked ambition to take power at whatever cost. The need to have America overcome its’ current difficulties should transcend all politics. It seems though that the opposite is true.
Bill Clinton once reminded us about the experiement that is America. This experiment will work to renew itself yet again tomorrow. The challenge for each and everyone of us is to make sure we do our part by voting, by remembering those who are voiceless ,not giving up on America no matter how tough the immediate challenges seems to be at the moment and not lose faith and hope.
Onward to election day and beyond…..