Posted by: Paul Nichols
11 Dec 2010
One of my most common sayings recently has been, "keep the crazy at home."
I see a lot of homeless folk where I live, and half the time they're mumbling or talking to themselves, or screaming to some fictitious friend somewhere. Or worse, they're screaming to a real friend 2 blocks the other way.
"Keep the crazy at home!" my mind screams to them. Sometimes I mumble it to myself out loud. Notice I don't scream it out real loud. And I check to see that no one's around when I start mumbling. You see, I'm pretty good at keeping my "crazy" from affecting other people. Not so good at not being crazy, though.
Anyway, what's the difference between my crazy and the homeless guy's crazy? I ponder this often, probably more than I should. I think it's that I spend quality time with good friends much of the week. They help ground me. Perhaps the homeless folk don't have good friends to spend time with.
I think a big desire of our hearts is to share time/ideas/desires with other folks. So what I'm witnessing on the streets is people crying out the only way they know how. Just kind of grasping for any sense of community that they can think to create. "Blah blah blah!" they say out loud, connecting themselves with the space around them.
I don't have any solutions to offer that don't already exist: supporting the local homeless shelter or investigating and promoting government or non-profit programs that already exist to help folks.
But it's the holiday season, and connecting with others is arguably more important this time of year. So here's praying that this Christmas season everyone has time to spend with family and friends. Let's keep the crazy at home.