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'Paucity of Empathy' 


All the anger that resides in the dark places of my soul dissolves into the tears of sadness that upwell from the evocations of misery and hope that spill out from the focals of electricity placed in fervent expression on the pages placed at my perusal [NCJ, Oct. 26, pages 6 ("Away from the Rain"), 11 (NCJ Daily), 12 ("A Homeless Survival Guide") 18 ("Sharktober Part 4")].

Survival is a process amended by good and bad fortune for everyone of us from the moment of our first sunshine to the last darkness. Sometimes we plod unaware thru much of our lives, sometimes life strikes us in ways so overwhelming that just to breath is a chore. It is then that just a little help restores our humanity. It is here, this humanity, the outside source of our survival, that is in such short supply.

It is here that I am transfixed by the inordinate paucity of empathy in our society. It is here that I am immobilized by the anti-people policies of so many who purport to be protecting our propinquity, but instead protect only their own narrow provenance.

Ah, yes, with five college degrees I can rail against the inequities. With my secure position in the firmament, the clear glassy sea of acceptable existence, I can hide from those whose stone-clod hearts leave little room for any vagaries. But it is with my less fortunate brothers and sisters that I most identify, and whose internality with the Common Good I most cherish. It is here that the nature of humanness transcends to heights extolled but seldom practiced. It is here that we can resist NIMBY and reach out to others as we would have others reach out to us.

Larry Hourany, McKinleyville

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