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1. n, an inhabitant of Yonkers, NY
2. v, to live in Yonkers, NY. also YONK, YONKS, YONKED, YONKER, YONKING
3.adj YONKED descriptor of a person living or the act of living in Yonkers, NY, sometimes used in a pejorative sense.
EX: "We bought this old house and are re-habbing it--we are so yonked!"
4. n, YONKED a weblog that chronicles the life, trials, tribulations, and other of two lovebirds and their new child in an old house in Yonkers, NY.



Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Ethics of Shelter

I had a weird and interesting ethical dilemma today. (At least, it was a weird and interesting dilemma for me-- perhaps for someone else, not so much.)

The weather was strange today. As aficionados of Winnie the Pooh might call it, it was A Very Blustery Day Torrential rain, gusts of wind, and tiny bouts of tremendous beauty.

So, while it was pouring, I was inside, warm and cosy. And then I heard a sound on the porch. I looked out, and there was a tough looking Latino guy and a 5 year old child. They did not see me. The guy was talking on his cell phone.

I suss out immediately that they are waiting out the rain.

I have a series of mixed responses to this: My first response is territorial, and not very charitable. Who are these strangers, and why are they on MY porch? Get them off. I'm not on their porch. And hey, I knew that it was going to rain, so I didn't go walking around. Why didn't they show the same foresight? I'm tempted to ask them to leave.

But then I start thinking-- hey, I'm not using that part of the house-- why shouldn't they use it as a temporary shelter-- they're not harming anything. And besides, in Norse Mythology, the guys who show up at your door demanding shelter usually turn out to be Loki, Thor, and/or Odin and their friends, and woe betide them that do not turn themselves out hospitably. Perhaps I should offer them a beverage? Or perhaps a snack of some kind? I think we've got some Colombian candies....

Right around then I start thinking about how I would feel if there weren't a kid involved, or if it was a gang of tough teenagers on my doorstep, drinking out of a paper bag, and I start to feel a little less charitable (Sorry Loki, all out of Mead! Have a can of whupass instead)

About this time, I look out again, and my ethical dilemma has (along with my mysterious guests) departed. But my weird thoughts have not.

I know that being charitable is good, but I generally like to do it on my terms, which is probably less than I ought. I do have a bit of a territorial nature, perhaps to my detriment. I guess my point is that I probably won't be reaching Nirvana anytime soon.

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