…And I think It’s Going to Rain Today…

I saw my first homeless person in December 1981,  35 years ago.

I shot this video on Thursday, December 15, 2016.

View at full screen, if you can.

Most people consider a sight an elderly man shoving a cart of wet
belongings in a drenching rain normal.

They want to live like this, we say.

The State Hospitals were so much worse, we say.

It’s too expensive to fix, we say.

Think of all the lies we have to tell ourselves
to make the daily sight of human suffering
seem normal.

Then remember that all of it is the result of our vote.

Tin can at my feet
Think I’ll kick it down the street
That’s the way to treat a friend

The video is made from photographs of San Francisco’s mentally ill
homeless between 2012 and 2015.

“I Think it’s Going to Rain Today”
Song by Judy Collins
Lyrics by Randy Newman

Childhood Trauma of Parental Mental Illness #1000Speak for Compassion

Excellent response, Kitt

Kitt O'Malley

Parental Mental Illness

At the beginning of this week, Terezin – a woman who had been horrifically abused by a mother diagnosed with manic depressive psychosis – read my poem Suicide Infanticide and was understandably enraged. My poem described a fleeting and deeply disturbing psychotic thought I had postpartum. Her comment deeply troubled me and made me question my adequacy as a mother. I responded to her comment, later removed the entire comment thread, and finally late Thursday afternoon as I revised this post, restored the comments.

Early drafts of this post included an edited version of her comment in which I removed her references to parenticide-suicide for she directed them at me and my child. But this post is about Compassion, and my poem was about Suicide Infanticide after all, so why shouldn’t I welcome Terezin to express her pain, rage, and indignation in her words.

Compassion requires me to listen to and understand  Terezin’s point of…

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Compassion and Happiness

Is there a connection between compassion and happiness?

#1000Speak for Compassion

Our next link-up is on the 20th of March. Just one week to go! Our theme, as it is every quarter, is simply Compassion.

However, 20th March is also International Day of Happiness.

Do compassion and happiness go together? You bet! So, if  you would like to write a post about the connection between compassion and happiness, we’d love to read it.

If you aren’t sure about what to write for this, we’ve got a few things that might help.

First off, in the video below, Pharrell Williams talks about happiness for last year’s International Day of Happiness, and as he points out, protecting our planet’s environment is necessary to ensure the happiness of future generation. I’d say that when we take action to protect our planet for our children, that also makes us happy.

Some people have the idea that compassion means feeling another’s pain, which wouldn’t necessarily make us happy!…

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A Butterfly for my Forever Mom

Art by Rob Goldstein

A year ago Linda Bethea and her Mother, Kathleen Swain, did two of the nicest things two strangers have ever done for me.

Linda sent me the gift of a hand designed bag and Kathleen sent me a drawing and a hand written note that claimed me as her Forever Son.

At the time I didn’t know what that term meant.

When I looked it up and saw the definition I was touched on so many levels of emotion that I hardly knew what to do.

A year later and I see how that gesture of compassion healed me in ways that I still don’t fully fathom.

What I do know is that it was an act that changed my life for the better.

When we help to make the lives of other people better we make life better for ourselves as well.

I never forget an act of kindness.

Thank you to Linda and to your wonderful Mother.

There is more grace in my life because of you.

Rob Goldstein 2016