My name is Hope1. Suddenly I was forced to join the statistic of less fortunate in a society where I was once well loved, liked, respected, praised, written about gracefully in local papers, magazines, boasted and highly spoken about by acquaintances, friends and family. I thought that no matter what befalls me, some friends and families would never turn their backs on me, because I always had their backs. When times were good they had an open door for a shoulder to cry on, to be fed, and rendered any assistance that was within my capabilities.
This less fortunate/poor situation I feared it all my life, “the thing you feared most came upon you,” I couldn’t fathom ever being carless, having no means of purchasing a meal, homeless, spending nights where it was convenient. Most of my life I showed empathy to the homeless, the hungry, the unfortunate and the unclothed. I prayed each day that I would never experience this euphoria or quality of life. Don’t get me wrong, I have never felt that I was better than any poor or less fortunate person. It’s the hardship, the stigma, the unloved behavior or attitude displayed by society and most importantly the abandonment by most beloved friends and family. The ones you made sacrifices for in numerous ways over the years. So, I asked God why this unfortunate situation ensued me that I feared so much. If I were to be truthful, many times since I was thirteen, I faced numerous situations that could have brought me to this point but, I always fought myself back to the top and this time will be no different, even though the leaps will be larger, the strides wider and the journey might be longer, I know “who I am.” Hope; gifted with talents, tenacious, fearless, hardworking, charming, likeable, motivated, a seed sower, and absolutely gracious for the few who are willing to venture with me on this next journey despite!! Many have already sounded the alarm, by their comments saying it’s over, but God ultimately makes that decision.
What was most appalling during this transitional period was the treatment by the individuals who had placed me on such high pedestal, who treated me differently, I was talked about, talked down to, judged, phone hanged up on, ridiculed, no returned calls, no calls or texts by friends and some dear family. A lot of friends and family relationships were non-existent. Probably avoiding the possibility of me seeking handouts or passing my crisis on to them. The Lord giveth and he taketh. He reigns on the just and the unjust. One mistake or bad business decision can turn one’s life upside down or change his/her future. Basically, I was treated like a “nobody, a stranger, an outcast, an insignificant non-entity” in the community where I was once beheld.
At times I internalized their remarks, the pains inflicted, their condescending behaviors and became very distorted, withdrawn, lost confidence in who I am, who God said I am, especially the behaviors and attitudes displayed by those closest to my heart. Why should I be surprised about how I was treated, we live in a society where money, status and power take preeminence over human lives, family and relationships? When you are poor, have no money, have debts or own nothing, you are constantly ostracized.
Maybe that’s why the drug addict hasn’t recovered, an ex-convict cannot rehabilitate into society, that person who lost his/her job for months hasn’t gotten on their feet, those individuals who lost their places of residency most remain homeless for long periods, the single mom who has to care for her kids and needs to make ends meet.
I feel people should treat each other with love no matter what their socio-economic status is. The poor or less fortunate can engineer their way out of their crisis without the judgments, unloved, unkind behavior, non-communication, lack of regard, rudeness, degrading words, trying to be their judge and jurors. Show them love in whatever way you can, love is an action word, and it should be natural not thought through. Love can be displayed in many ways; motivate them, remind them about the place they were in in their careers, school, college or life. Majority of individuals aren’t looking for handouts. Most people like to work, but they just need encouragement, motivation and moral support. These were the folks you loved, cared for, grew up with, worked with, did business with and most importantly saw their hearts. We should be judged by our hearts, not what we possess, because money and material things can dissipate, but the heart remains…
Thank God for Communities/Safe Havens like “Opening Doors for Women In Need (ODWIN),” Director Sandra Stanley and Kimberly Agoro President of the “Regional Woman Chamber of North Texas” who are the pillars, rocks and foundations for the less fortunate in our society. It is their love for humanity that takes precedent over society’s sanction.
1 Name has been changed to protect the individual’s identity.