Yesterday I was coming back from the farmer's market at the LH Mall, and I saw a young man about my son's age with a sign bearing only one word: "Hungry." I wanted to pull over the car and ask him where his parents were, why he wasn't in school, on unemployment, protected and cared for, as my own son is. Yet at the same time I knew the answer. Probably he had never had work eligible for unemployment, or perhaps he quit or was fired, or worse, had used up all his unemployment and couldn't afford to go to school. Maybe he had no parents or his parents were abusive and had thrown him out.
I couldn't stop, not even to hand a dollar bill out the window, since a line of cars pressed me forward, but I still think about this young man and all those like him I have seen at that spot in the past year.
We are all so vulnerable. It wouldn't take much for many of us to fall off the edge of the known world into despair and oblivion. It's a wonder more people aren't in the street protesting, really.