Viewing entries tagged

Homelessness, and the power of empathy and dignity

West Wing

I’ve been re-watching The West Wing. The first season, in particular, is simply fantastic. There’s an episode called In Excelsis Deo {IMDB Link} where the cantankerous but morally-driven Toby feels compelled to provide a Honor Guard funeral for a homeless vet. I re-watched that episode the other day and it has stuck with me for some reason.

Today, a video is making its way around the internet. It’s from Degage Ministries and features Jim Wolf, a United States Army Veteran. Jim, according to the video, has experienced frequent bouts of homelessness and alcoholism.

The video is simple, compelling and deeply moving.

I like videos like this and Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy video. They help us feel empathy. The video of Jim highlights the importance of dignity. We need these videos as tools. And we’ll continue to need them as long as we marginalize and disenfranchise parts of our society.

I wonder too, is there a place for videos like this in education, healthcare and other places where we serve all parts of society; as a way to remind us of the importance of empathy and dignity?