Homelessness and Hope
I am writing this on the Sunday night before you see it on Tuesday morning. In between those two auspicious events, something else of greater importance is going to happen (or did happen in your case). And that is that on Monday I will speak to four college classes at Kennesaw State University about the issue of homelessness and hunger.
Now, I am not so arrogant as to claim that my lectures will be such a special event. Nor am I so naïve as to expect that 100% of the college students who hear about the topic will actually do anything about it. So why, you might ask, do I think that this event is/was of such great importance? My answer to that it is that I believe that the fact that this is occurring at all is, in and of itself, a great event. Because it creates dialogue. It is communication. It is interest in a topic important to us all. It is people wanting to know more about a topic which they know impacts society. And that is how it is supposed to work. Reasoned, open, honest discourse about the social issues which impact America. Not in 140 character tweets, 15 second soundbites, or 64 pt. type headlines.
Important issues deserve; no, make that require, a deep and serious discussion. They require us to know what we are talking about and be ready to listen to those who disagree with us. They require that we have open minds and be open to the idea that we might not be always right.
Now I don’t know what will happen tomorrow in those four classrooms. But I can tell you what I hope happens. I hope that the students don’t just sit there and listen to me. I hope that one or more challenges my thinking, my assumptions, my facts, or my conclusions. And I hope that a great discussion ensues that engages a few of the others sitting in that class. And I hope that from that discussion we all walk away a little smarter, a little more curious, and a little more open to new and different thoughts.
Intelligent, respectful, insightful dialogue and discussion that has as its ultimate purpose making everyone smarter about a subject at the end than they were at the beginning. Maybe the politicians should try it; they sure seem to need it.