Who isn’t flawed? Who is perfect? Who deserves what they get?
I was watching Saturday Night Live last night and the host (Kevin…something? I don’t know what he is famous for but I liked his jacket) was telling a story about a homeless man he encountered in a Panera Bread restaurant. It was supposed to be funny, clever, and just a little self-deprecating, but it broke my heart. The host kept describing how dirty the man’s hands were, comparing him at one point to a monkey spreading the plague. Unless that’s some cultural reference that I’m missing, did I really just hear a homeless person being compared to a diseased animal? In what world is that acceptable?
When did we get to the point where we laugh at the misfortunes of others? That shouldn’t happen at any point, but especially regarding a social problem that is so often the realm of the vulnerable and the dispossessed. The homeless population in our nation, in any nation, are subject to such stereotyping and anger. But how often is it their fault? How often is it the demons of mental illness, war, or a million other circumstances outside their control?
And I started to hate how we build these walls around the imperfect and the beaten down. Hell, we even build walls around the fortunate and the well-to-do. We categorize and classify and judge. We write people off as good or bad or beautiful or ugly. We see the pain they cause, the problems these hands create and we get upset.
But aren’t we all in this together? Aren’t we all just screwing up and starting over and screwing up and starting over? Lather rinse and repeat. Who is perfect? And who deserves the life they get, good or bad? Life happens and we do our best with what we get. I think we all could use a little more grace.