There is something for each of us to ponder in this time of CO-VID when we think about dignity and life. These two words are integral to our own mission at HOPE, and form the motive behind keeping our doors open and expanding our services. These actions are built upon the very first response that founded HOPE, when a few individuals decided to move into action when fellow human beings died due to a cold winter and nowhere to go.
Our vision statement, which can be read directly on our website so eloquently and succinctly states,
Our Vision is, ‘to live in a community that shares a commitment to preserving the lives and dignity of those experiencing homelessness.’
And now, CO-VID 19 is doing something quite dramatic, it is letting each of us touch the desire to live and to respect the dignity of what it means to have life. As the media highlights the suffering and loss, we have the chance to realize that EVERY human being has an inherent right to be considered with dignity. This consideration and the present universal challenge penetrates deeper than common judgments that admonish us to ‘pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps,’ and reveal that we make it through challenges when we make it TOGETHER. The stories of how we are drawing closer outweigh the stories of isolation and individualism. The internet being flooding by free offerings through zoom, youtube, FB live and more are just one example.
In the face of the changes that are happening, disrupting what is normal and bringing us into the unknown of what the future holds, we have the opportunity to accept without exceptions that every human being deserves to be cared for, deserves to live and deserves to be regarded humbly as one whose dignity can be protected by all of us.
Though I am the newest member of HOPE, it has taken only a glance to witness the deep dedication of our staff to this preservation of dignity and life. Everyone here is about the same thing that founded HOPE in the first place. There are so many ways to act for the good of yourself and all: for some it is to close their doors to curb the curve of the virus spreading and for some to act for this same good is to open doors even wider. We choose to open wider because the need is there and we have a way to meet it.
Together we can come to a new understanding of what it means to preserve the dignity of our fellow human beings. In a time where seclusion can give way to reflection, one powerful reflection could be upon this issue of dignity and life. If one person is meant to have life, does it not mean all people deserve life? As fear may be in the air, so is new insight that can give way to purpose or peace- right where you are. And in that, we together can change the world. In the
words of Ghandi that are so true, we can ‘Become the change we wish to see in the world.’ So let’s do it!
Director of Development