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How Shall We Then Live?

Updated on January 27, 2016

A Path To Success

In recent years much has changed in the way we live, work, and entertain ourselves. If people who passed on 75 years ago could come back today, they would have a tremendous surprise. They would not know how to operate many things we take for granted. Cell phones and computers would be a total mystery. They would no doubt feel lost and have a great deal to learn. Even so, have you noticed that with all the technical advances we've made, our world is still in a mess and many believe things could be much better if only our leaders made different decisions-- seemingly not realizing that they help put those leaders in charge by selecting and voting-- or not.

C. S. Lewis said it very well here and we should all give it serious thought.

Some years ago, one of my sons had a motorcycle accident resulting in a serious head injury. It split his head open- his brain was hanging partly out and they had to cut off that part in order to sew him up. I spent many, many weeks in the waiting rooms of hospitals and rehab places. It gave me much time to think and reflect.

At that time I also had a family member with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that was so serious she was not allowed to live very long in homes she moved into. She would not listen to reason, nor was she willing to follow rules or certain laws. The Health and Fire Departments could not get through to her, so she was evicted over and over again until she finally said she didn't want a house or apartment. She wanted to be homeless, and that is what she became.

As I sat in waiting rooms, I began to think-- why is there not help for people in our society who need it? My son needed a facility that was different from any available and my OCD family member needed help that wasn't available. Actually in some respects, they both needed a place to live that was similar, but our society does not make such places available and I know there has to be hundreds- probably thousands, of people who need help that is not an option for them.

As a child, I sometimes heard my parents say if things got much worse or didn't improve, we could end up in the poor house. I thought that was a real house where people went if they had no food, no money, and no way to take care of themselves. It was many years before I realized it was just a saying and the help many need is not available.

At that point I had to ask myself WHY, why isn't there the help so many need?

  • Why are people allowed to be homeless and without responsibility?
  • Why have we stopped having homes for the mentally unbalanced?
  • Why are there no locked facilities for those recovering from serious accidents such as my son needs?

As I thought on these things, I asked myself what I would do to solve problems in our society if I were in charge and I came up with many answers, but since I'm nobody special and have no money to speak of, making things better for those in need is not an option for me to personally solve.


I once read a small book that explained the best way to solve problems and was impressed with the idea that first one should see what the situation is, then picture in the mind what it should be, then work backward from the goal to reality, thus creating the steps necessary to go forward and reach the goal. That is a wonderful idea if you are a parent in a family home and struggling to raise children, but is much more difficult and complicated if you need the cooperation of a city, state, or the government. Unless many people are willing to work together for the common good, the best solutions to problems often go by the way.

I would like to share my ideas for solutions to the WHY questions I asked myself here, and because it will be lengthy, I hope to address each one separately. First I will begin with problems injured people like my son face- and address how they might be helped. Next I will address people who have a mental illness and how they could be helped, then lastly I will address 'normal' people who are, for a variety of reasons, homeless- and what I believe would help them most.

I welcome your questions and ideas. Together we can make a difference. Let's do this!


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