Dr. Judy - Atlanta Day 1

Stress at the airport revealed metaphors and microcosm of our trip mission. My United flight was 5 hours delayed, causing me to be rebuked but my luggage was not and tons did not arrive with me. Baggage agents in Atlanta told me the airline would charge me to deliver which I protested as it was their fault and mistake. The agent was defensive until I showed her my destination -- to the church -- and the event mission -- visiting the homeless shelters. She was looking at our outline, headed "Race, Poverty and Class" and her attitude immediately changed, saying "I felt different knowing you're going to help the homeless -- becoming more proactive telling supervisors that they should help resolve this because I've been inconvenienced for 6 hours and no luggage. I felt appreciative but also reflected how the energy changed. Once, I assume, I changed from being some New York City fancy Lady to someone concerned about the issues of race & homelessness, it was obvious. How, indeed, we form belief systems and reactions to people based on our own belief systems or attitudes.

Another realization from my stressful trip regards power. My conclusion up front is that American Society is becoming like a third would country where people are affraid to make decisions and to stick to strict rules. The result: Customer service and people orientation, and at times humanity, are sacrificed for fear and finances. That means the agent would not send my baggage to the church without charge -- not because she didn't want to but because she'd get in trouble if she did. "If I approve that, it's an expense and the airport departments compete to have the lowest expenses."

Skipping ahead in the day, my hear was pained over visits to the homeless shelters today and the contrast. The Carpenter's House was like a 2-star hotel -- where the men are getting off drugs and alcohol and getting back to work. The Homeless Task Force center was a big dank warehouse packed with men like a meat - dirty and unkempt. Interestingly as the group of 50 of us walked through on a guided tour as of the 'freak museum' many men said "hello" and "welcome" - in efforts to humanize the situation. This was a relief.

Most distressing was the room of women, lined in rows. About 60 women sleep on the chairs we were told by our guide, as the women blankly stared in their tattered clothes and messy hair. "Some are addicts and prostitutes," he told us - as I stared around the room of haggard, tootles faces.

"Can they choose to get work and to get thier life together?" students said to each other.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?