Can you explain me this sentence? "It has been customary to take people's pain and lessen our own participation in it by turning it into an issue, not a collection of human beings." It's about the homeless. I don't understand what kind of people's pain it takes and what a collection of human beings means. Can you explain me the sentence in any other way? Thank you very much!
Apr 16, 2016 7:14 AM
Answers · 5
For example, a famous person or a broadcaster decides that homelessness is a bad thing. So he spends a day filming and speaking to homeless people about their problems. Then he writes or broadcasts material on the issue to generate publicity and interest for a short while. But he doesn't do anything more himself to practically help the homeless with their problems.
April 16, 2016
Hello, It's hard to be absolutely certain without the context. However, it seems to me that the writer believes that 'society' prefers not to think of homeless people as individual human beings, with their own individual personalities and stories and reasons which lead them to be without a home, but rather to group them all together and consider 'homelessness' as an 'issue'. The reason, the writer suggests, is that by doing this we can all minimise our own responsibility, possibly even direct responsibility, maybe we could have done something to help an individual but did not. By grouping all homeless people together as an 'issue' rather than a 'collection' of separate and individual human beings we protect ourselves from having to realise our own individual roles and responsibilities. I think that's the gist of it.
April 16, 2016
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