About a year and a half ago, the husbo and I went out for some Saturday afternoon errands. As we were walking to our car, I noticed a man laying in the middle of the sidewalk. This is very unusual as this is a bougie hood, not far from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's place of residence. We were on a major street, middle of the day, and this man was completely unresponsive. As I approached, I saw that he was breathing, but it was pretty clear he had had about five too many. The husbo called 911 while I sat there holding this man's hand, because it seemed right to do so at the time. I was hoping they'd take him to a shelter but my guess was that they took him to the drunk tank. As I sat and held his hand, a man walked past and looked down at me and said "I walked by earlier and I asked if he was ok, but he didn't answer, so..." I had nothing but a blank stare to send back in his direction.
The police arrived, assessed the situation, and quickly realized this was just another drunk homeless man. As they were working to resolve things quickly, a woman who was turning onto the major street was cut off by another driver, and she pulled over to scream at the police to arrest the man who cut her off. As she screamed and straight up lost her shit, I just stood there watching it all unfold. The part that STILL gets me to this day, cuts to my heart in this very moment, is that not once did this woman even noticed a man lying unconscious in the middle of the sidewalk, in the middle of the day, in the middle of her direct eyesight.
I share this story as a reminder: if we continue to turn a blind eye to some of the most vulnerable of our citizens, if we continue to see the world through our small windshields, screaming about what's in front of us instead of looking far beyond our own stations in life, if we continue to allow 15% of the population stay in poverty, then all of humanity will continue to suffer. The anxiety you feel inside, the nagging you can't quiet, it's there because in your heart, you know our world is off track. You know this isn't the world we are capable of; we can do so much more, and there's no time like the present to change it.