August 17, 2008

Flyer to be circulated at Loaves and Fishes

Your Time Has Value
Your Life Has Meaning

Last Friday morning, a few people, focused solely on their own wants or needs, rushed into Friendship Park after the gates opened, oblivious to safety considerations. It was the ill-thought determination of Park or L&F management that the park should then be evacuated and closed and that it (and other L&F services, such as Men’s Washroom) should remain closed for a period of thirty minutes.

This “toddler’s time out” imposed upon all the “guests” of the Park is demonstrative of a nanny-management philosophy in place at Loaves that treats the adult users of its services as irresponsible children.

Solely because of the big-hearted generosity of Sacramento-area individuals and businesses, Loaves & Fishes exists – as a facility to promote the well-being of people who have fallen on Hard Times. These individuals and businesses provide Loaves & Fishes with over $5,000,000 each year to improve the lives of displaced people like you and me.

By closing the park for thirty minutes, in an act of impetuosity, L&F imperils the ability of people to get to work or meet court dates or make it to other appointments or to otherwise achieve something or get full measure from their day. While no one doubts there is compassion at the heart of Loaves of Fishes, one has to wonder if the people in charge are enough aware of the implications of their acts and how fantastic and amazing and worthy of ‘a break’ the people they serve are. Basically, Loaves has abundant heart, but inadequate head; compassion, but not wisdom.

Regular users of Loaves’ services are greatly appreciative of what they receive and view what they receive as life-saving. Absent Loaves and Fishes, many of us would go hungry, left on the mean streets with a foul body odor, in misery and despair. But while this is true, it is fair to ask if the Loaves and Fishes operation is nearly as good as it should be and if it is getting enough “bang for the buck” from the donations it receives.

Loaves and Fishes operating culture believes in lines and queues, like the welfare office; a parent-to-child transactional mode, like the welfare office; punishing all for the “misbehavior” of a few, like kindergarten teachers and Nazis in Poland. If there was greater appreciation for poor people’s lives, on high, I think there would be motivation to fix these very evident flaws of operation.

Life is a process of ‘becoming,’ a combination of
states we have to go through.
Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state
and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
-- Anais Nin


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