I’m finding it hard to get any work done simply for the fact that I can’t stop reading the beautiful messages you are writing to Akron City Council.
I asked you to take time out of your already incredibly busy life to write a message to city council with this form:
(Incidentally, that form works and you are welcome to continue to send messages to City Council.)
One of my advisers cautioned me about this strategy. “If only 10 people fill out this form it is going to look like people don’t care about Akron’s homeless.”
As of this morning
And this isn’t one of those canned responses. Each of you spent time talking to them from your heart.
“The homeless need help too. People helping people is the meaning of life.”
“Akron’s homeless deserve dignity and respect and self-determination. Save Tent City!”
“These people need help, we have taken supplies and food to Tent City numerous times. We need to come together to solve and make this workable for all.”
Your messages were kind, compassionate and heart felt.
Your messages were coming right out of 1 Corinthians:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
As I look around at the “leaders” in America I see such little leadership.
Business leaders care about nothing other than making more money as their workers can’t afford housing.
Religious leaders are often most concerned about protecting the shrinking pie of congregations who aren’t finding the moral compass a church promised to give them.
Government officials… well, all government officials seem to care about is the next election cycle.
But you. The quiet, unassuming, everyday people of America. It turns out you are the leaders all our so-called leaders should be looking to for guidance and direction.
You aren’t yelling at city council. You aren’t bad-mouthing city council. All you are doing is trying to connect in some way with city council in hopes that they will wake up and see the situation of this tent city for what it is: Private people, on private land, with private money coming together to help those in need.
Aren’t those the words every true leader has been telling us since we were children?
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
“If you want a friend, be a friend.”
“Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
Then when we enact those words we all have been taught, leaders come rushing in and tell us to stop.
And it’s not just these heartfelt messages you are sending.
It’s the meals you bring.
It’s the clothes you bring.
It’s the supplies you bring.
It’s the money you bring.
It’s the time you bring.
It’s the compassion you bring.
It’s the love you bring into our building and share with people who have lost everything.
It is YOU who inspire me.
While you often thank me for what I do, it is YOU that drives me to continue this important work. You take such time and effort and endless resources to help these people… often when you have little yourself.
This is a noble cause. This is a cause that we the people see so clearly as something that needs addressed.
We stand on the right side of history as our leaders navel gaze, wring their hands and shake their head on the wrong side of history.
But this is something I know: time and time again, leaders eventually come around to the will and moral judgement of the people they should be serving.
When you look at the trajectory of society over time, even if we have fits and starts, we seem to always drag our leaders begrudgingly on a slow and steady upward-angled moral line.
We are the leaders. We have always been the leaders. We become the hand of God that seeks justice, morality and compassion.
You are my great inspiration. I will be forever indebted to you for all you have done and continue to do for the homeless of America.
I love you,