Sunday, September 5, 2010

Don't Judge Me !

Those of you who are regular followers will recall a "Conversation with Bilbo Baggins" in December of 2009. Bilbo aka Chris Stewart, is a volunteer at an Inn From the Cold program in B.C. Chris believed it was dishonest of me not to "out" myself as social worker/researcher/writer, before entering a shelter or program. I have always avoided this because as we all know, people behave differently when they know someone might be watching. Ottawa has been the exception, I have been completely open with staff, clients and potential employers about my journey. Initially this felt really good, but now I have encountered a flaw... Not everyone gets the whole story and rumors and distortions abound.
I was confronted by an angry client, who is of the impression that I am a wealthy author briefly pretending to be homeless as I research my next book. My sole motivation being fame and fortune LOL. I suppose I should be glad people aren't assuming I'm a discredited journalist who was canned for plagiarism, lost all my money to lawyers and an ex-husband... turning to drugs and ultimately ending up on the streets. Actually either of those scenarios sounds more interesting then the truth.
My first thought when she began her accusations was,"Who the hell are you to judge me, you don't know anything about me". It gives me pause to wonder how many times a day people pass a panhandler and make judgments about them or their situation, without any way of really knowing what is going on. Apparently this is also a big problem among social workers, thinking we can sum up a person's life, character and situation in a 5 min capsule. My friend often complained of this when he was staying in the shelter. I hope I was never like that and I'm sure I will not be like that in the future.
Up until I wrote this I wasn't sure about how to handle the situation with the rumors... I think I will just let it go. If anyone wants to know the truth they can come and ask, I will happily share everything.
Right now I have more important things weighing on my mind...(for details see yesterday's blog)I am still struggling with all those issues. I have always said money is neither the source of happiness or is just a tool. But it is a necessary tool in our society and it frees the mind for other more important pursuits. So I guess I will have to assume the job is first priority and every other decision will hing on how that works out. One step forward woo-hoo.... unless I rethink that later LOL. Have a joyous day.

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