I’ve been in San Francisco since Tuesday enjoying some time for myself while my step-daughter-in law attended a conference. What a wonderful city of diverse neighborhoods, amazing views – a walker’s dream come true. Easy to buy into the song lyrics, I Left My Heart in San Francisco.
But, last night in what was probably an ill-conceived notion to walk to an obscure performance on the other side of the city, we heard a different song. No amazing views, no interesting ethnic diversity, just streets populated with those less fortunate. It brought me back to the reality of our society. And for me, that reality is the real life gap between those that have and those that have not.
Financial decisions before, during and (after?) the economic downturn has caused this gap to widen. It’s so wide that it’s hard to see across this gap and even harder for us to look into the depth of this reality. But it’s important to stay aware of this dichotomy and to think about how our beliefs around money contribute to it.
Do our beliefs expand this gap or do they begin to bridge the gap? Do we see the less fortunate as a group, a group who doesn’t even try, a group whose only goal in life is to live off the system? Or, can we see them as individuals, individuals all with a different story—an individual story that brought them to this stage of life.
Because if we don’t see each person as an individual, it’s easy to dehumanize them and look away. It’s easy to brush them into city neighborhoods without amazing views and interesting attractions and forget about them. Thank you San Francisco for reminding me that each one deserves much more from me. I think I found my heart in San Francisco!
Home on the red-eye tonight – tomorrow will be ugly!