Thursday, April 22, 2010

Humor in my Life --Part 13---Trying to save the World

Going back to my early days as a social worker, I'm going to recount a humorous anecdote about my work. Okay, I was all fired up and ready to save the world following my basic training. One of my grand plans was to help the homeless and I had one particular client in mind.

The affectionately dubbed Bear Man had never had any place to stay other than a homeless shelter. There, men would stop in at night, get some tobacco, and crash on cots until the wake-up bell. Then they would have to leave for the streets at seven in the morning.

The Bear Man was well-named. He looked like a grizzly bear with a long, bedraggled beard. He didn't look like he'd had a bath in years and he always wore the same reeking clothes. He became my first mission.

The Bear Man wasn't all there. He was one of those lost souls who heard voices that none of the rest of us could hear. Let's just say that he had his own version of reality. Of course, that's the truth for all of us. We all have incessant chatter in our heads. It's just that most of us don't talk back out loud.

Such was not the case for the Bear Man. While he would often just come into our office to crash and sleep, he would wake up with a start and begin to talk to his imaginary friends.

One fine morning, I asked him if we could talk. Usually he was unreceptive, but that day proved to be my lucky day, in a sense. He said, “Sure, Mr. Aujourd'hui!”

I excitedly invited him into one of our interview rooms and I brightly chirped, “Mr. Bear Man, how would you like to have a nice warm place of your own that you could call home?”

“You mean a pad?” he asked with what sounded like trepidation.

Thinking he was using the colloquial, I responded, “Sure, wouldn't that be nice?”

“Oh man!” he exclaimed. “You know what would happen next?”

I naively responded, “What would that be?”

“The next thing you know, space ships would be landing on the pad and I'd be abducted! No man! That's not for me!”

How could I reason with this. This fledgling caseworker was stumped. I wracked my brain for a meaningful response, but his mind was made up. Apparently, this homeless man had already found a safe pad for himself. Who was I to make a judgment about what home meant to him? I had to let it go.

This would be one of my continuing lessons that I could not save the world. It's not that his basic needs weren't being met. God provides for all of His children. To each, his or her own.
Book Part 1 of a Series---"The Misadventure of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude" (Full of laughter)

Facebook Fan Page

Blog#2 The Funniest Satire Series of the Decade

No comments: