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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What to Do?

22nd December 2012
Dear Cassi,
       
A man called me today wanting help with his twenty year old daughter. This is not to say that he called me but rather that he called my shelter hoping to find a way to impress upon his child the life of less fortunate folks. He did not tell me what sin she had committed that lead him to this idea, but I could tell he was at his whit’s end full of anger and frustration.
       
“This behavior needs to stop,” He said over and over. As a payment for this tour of the underworld he said he would buy groceries for the program. Mind that I start my shift at eleven in the evening and so this was the middle of the night. Normally, and by normally I mean during the day, I would refer this man to the donation department but the middle of the night is an inconvenient time for them.
       
I explained to this man that we can accommodate his need, but that he would need to call back during the AM hours. I told him what kind of program we run and what we do for the homeless. I further put forth that there were much poorer programs with less amenities, privacy, and lower quality food.

He then asked what he should do, and I was stunned by the request but made to answer him as best I could. I explained to this concerned father that he needed to take a stance of mutual respect because people you show no respect to will never properly respect you. He should make it clear that what he wants is not good because he wants it but because he honestly believes it is good for his child.

I told him he should be open to what she says and understanding. Further, I said that he should not expect her to change overnight but only to do better. Without knowing what she did I could only say so much.

In this world things are hard a family mending is tricky. I know this better than most as I have as little to do with my own family as possible. Sometimes we need to be strong and face the ugly truth. I know I did and it was the first real step to a better life.

Stay safe, little sister,


Richard Leland Neal


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