“Mr. Wendal” by Arrested Development (1992)

12 02 2009

Arrested Development made positive music, which sets them apart from much of the rap you hear today.  This song is a great example.  It’s about a “bum” who—like most homeless people in our country—lives on the margins of society. 

I’ve known people who have a really negative reaction when they encounter “bums” on the street. 

How did we get to a place where we blame people for their misfortune?  Many other cultures don’t do that, opting instead to take care of people who are down on their luck.

When I was discharged from the Air Force in 1992, it took me more than a year to find a job.  I was collecting unemployment benefits (one of our nation’s safety nets), but that only lasts so long.  I was very, very close to being homeless for a time.  Fortunately, I had friends and family to help me get back on my feet.

Not everyone is so lucky.

“Never thought twice about spending on a ol’ bum,
until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know him, to give him money isn’t charity”


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