Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Prince Harry's visit; Homelessness

Letters Published: May 12, 2013

Hope article was tongue-in-cheek

I took offense to the article written about the British Prince's visit in the May 6 edition of The Gazette and certainly hope it was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. But from what I could tell it was not.

Let's get something straight - he is not my prince and if I were to encounter him here in the United States there would not be curtsying or bowing going on in his presence. What a sad state of our country that we look at people like him with such reverence, yet vilify those who have earned what they have. He has been a pampered spoiled brat all his life (hence his behavior as the article points out) something he was born into and did not earn.

I resent the suggestion that I or any other American should have to bow to this pompous royal. Our ancestors fought long and hard never to have to bow to royalty again, and it would be an insult to them if any of our citizens and especially our service people were to revere him in such a manner.

I suggest when Prince Harry meets Americans he should bow and thank them and their ancestors for fighting to keep Britain free, lest he'd be speaking German on his visit.

Tina West, Colorado Springs

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Asking the hard questions

'When community is working on all cylinders, the ripples of community reach the world ' (Gabe Lyons, The Next Christian, 2010).

Our communitywide discussions concerning the homeless are asking the hard questions, many of them relevant, profound and grounded in compassion. But in my learning curve in building relationship with individuals struggling to deal with the realities of homelessness, I wonder if we're not seeking an easy fix to a situation with deep cultural roots and ramifications.

I direct a small nonprofit that opened a community arts program in the downtown area last fall. Our focus is to utilize the arts as a catalyst for social justice, and our parking lot provided a rich opportunity to do just that, as it seemed to be a favorite gathering place for several who appeared homeless or, on one level or another, displaced. Over the months I grappled with how to proactively connect with these individuals and found them to be kind, respectful and intelligent human beings - people who need, and would respond to, transformative charity, not our customary handouts or easy fixes, however compassionate the intent.

That our methodologies for dealing with the impoverished (globally) have proven ineffective few would argue against. That we need new, creatively innovative approaches in this arena most would agree.

Compassionate and generous instincts are not enough, as good intentions can sometimes seriously complicate existing problems. Toxic charity, or top-down charity (where organizations/individuals 'do' for others) is rarely effective over the long haul. It's what takes place in the community, churches, our homes and beyond that will determine the sustainability of ideologies and methodologies in compassionately and authentically combating poverty.

Empowering the disadvantaged to participate in their own quest for freedom from poverty encourages the abandonment of dependencies and paradigms that might have contributed to their current situation.

Governmental or private initiatives that, in the long run, end up contributing to dependency must be restructured to facilitate self-sufficiency, developing community-driven initiatives that will encourage life-affirming and lasting solutions for those in the matrix of homelessness.

Maria Pompea, Colorado Springs

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