Nah, not a proud psychopath. Not a republican either, which I've been called a few times because many of you can't tell the difference anymore between your enemy and someone who has a different perspective. Let me give you mine - it would be a terrible disservice to you if I let you dismiss me as a psychopath so that you can go on believing crazy shit that justifies the biases in your well-worn neural pathways.

I was raised in rural West Virginia. If anybody in my small town would've seen a man dying on the streets, he would be scooped up and brought indooors immediately. If a private citizen didn't take him in, a church certainly would have. I've seen it happen. People around here walk the talk of Christianity.

Now, me, I'm not a christian. I'm a liberal, queer, atheist, and I never fit in in my community in West Virginia. I loved them and they loved me, but they were upset that I dated women and drove my friends to abortion clinics. So I moved to San Francisco when I was 23 to get away and be around people who were "more like me."

What I found instead was what Umair is describing in his article - people "like me" (meaning liberals) who were stepping over other humans groaning and moaning in the streets in their own waste. They had become desensitized to human suffering - it was like nothing I'd ever seen before. I thought liberals were supposed to be the compassionate ones, but I learned then that many of them are just moving their mouths. They don't stand behind any of it. They show up and vote and welp, that should be enough, in their heads. The *institutions* they put in charge should come help these people and they take no responsibility for their fellow humans after that.

I don't agree. It hurts me to see it, and I don't know how to fix it. I used to just give away all my cash to anyone I came across who looked like they needed it, but the *liberals* told me that was wrong too because they'd just spend it on drugs. I don't know if that's true, but I wanted to do something. I put myself in multiple dangerous situations. I had different homeless people coming to my door at all hours because they knew I'd helped them before. I don't know if that was the right thing to do - I don't think anything I did made much of a difference, except on the small scale in their daily lives. But the urge to help is strong when you aren't raised in a city and taught to ignore the suffering. And I meant what I said to Umair - why didn't he take the man home with him? Or at least drive him to an emergency room? His wife is a doctor for chrissakes. I wouldn't have been able to just watch the man totter up the street and away.

I find it interesting that people always want to shift the responsibility for situations like this onto some institution. Institutions don't have a human touch. They don't give a shit. They hide behind their label and no one is accountable. When you rely on "institutions" and your "tax dollars" to fix this, you get half-baked solutions like the fire department showing up and admonishing the man not to collapse in the streets anymore. *We* have to do something. Whining won't help. Bringing the man home with you or just helping him to the emergency room might. I meant it - be the change you want to see in the world. If you want your blue cities to stop being cesspools of uncaring suffering, start with you, boo-boo.

It's easy to go home and write a rant - I do it all the time. It's real hard to actually help someone. Umair should try it sometime, and write about it. Maybe you should too, Tommy. You sound quite snarky and quite sure of who I am, even though you have no idea. I hope my post helped change your mind.


Laughter is the best medicine if you don’t have any real medicine.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sherry Mayle

Sherry Mayle


Laughter is the best medicine if you don’t have any real medicine.