What to Do When

What can you do when there is nothing you can do? You may feel that way about many things in modern life. I certainly do.

Let me select just one that illustrates my point. Homelessness in major cities is a major problem. I think about it and wish that I could do something meaningful to end the misery that so many people are caught up in. There is nothing I can do.

Sure, I could send a few dollars to the Salvation Army. In fact, I have been doing that for years. I am confident that my contribution can help a few people for a few days. Rather like applying a band aid where a tourniquet is needed. My sorrow and my empathy are boundless; my available cash is not. There is nothing I can do to end homelessness in California or anywhere.

Today’s “Golden State” homeless are not the homeless Okies written about by John Steinbeck in his 1939 classic, “The Grapes of Wrath.” Those were whole families forced out of their homes and off their land by the disastrous drought that was starving them. They headed for California and the promise of a fresh start. They had worked for what they had before being forced to leave; they expected and were willing to work hard again.

In 2021, California has a homeless population estimated to be over 151,000 making the “Golden State” the “leader” by a large margin over any other state. These are people who often have an underlying mental health issue. Many are alcoholics and drug users. Still others have limited education and no prior work experience making it difficult to obtain employment. Finally, as unlikely as it seems, some may even enjoy a life free of responsibilities. Intractable!


Most of us have a list of things we would like to change if only we could. What is on your list?

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from Amazon.com and on all e-readers. See www.authorbillramsey.com. Follow Bill on Facebook at www.facebook.com/billramseyauthor/
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