V to a million dollar board and batton dream cottage on St. George Island. "Home" is what you put inside that shell. As I was talking to my old friend, I said to him, your value is not in your mortgage, or your job, but in that boy that you have invested your entire life in, in the Wednesday boys' program you have been faithful to for 20 years week after week, that is what is of value, the care you give your bed ridden mother, those are the things which define your life. Times are hard, and I am afraid they are going to get alot harder. I was at Walmart today and I have to say for the first time I felt a sense of fear, an unsettleness when I passed two different people, they just seemed so desperate and almost had a wild look in their eyes, like there was nothing there-an emptiness. I felt fearful. When people feel hopeless, they can be dangerous. They looked like caged animals. They just looked so poor and helpless, and alone. I had a sense that to numb the pain they both were using some kind of substance. There children broke my heart, they looked so lost as well, running to keep up with the adults, but the adults not even noticing they were there. As I thought of my friend and how he was feeling abandoned and alone, like his life had some how made a detour and how he felt as though his life was the only one that had disappointment, and I thought of those people I had seen in Walmart, the one which I have heard referred to as the "ghetto" Walmart, I had to think, God, where do all these lost people go to at night, where is that little girl at tonight? Who is making her safe, who is having dinner with her, laughing with her, reassuring her everything is gonna be alright, Mommy and Daddy is here. There cart was full of microwave dinners, is she fixing her own dinner, as I make my own children a homemade dinner, maybe she won't even have dinner. Loneliness is far worse than losing a house. Being alone is far worse than losing a new car. I can guarantee you that little girl would trade anything, to have her daddy tuck her in bed at night and know she is safe, even if it is a one room apartment. Security comes not from what we have but from who we love and who loves us. Were the hippies right? Is there such a thing
as "free" love-Well, Yes and No! Love, defined by empathy, always cost the one doing the loving, it may cost them everything, it may cost them their life, but it Does Cost! That is why empathy should make us more than willing to lose our "dignity", lose our "status", lose our sanctimoniousness, and step beyond ourselves.