‘When We Walk By’ is the new book written by Kevin Adler. It isn’t a good book, it is an essential one. It isn’t a book I wanted to read, it is a book I needed to read. This is the book I wish I had read before I walked past a person experiencing homelessness. I always feel uncomfortable. Not knowing what to do or say. Should I be afraid, sympathetic, curious…the list goes on. Kevin examines the topic of homelessness as a crisis of humanity, giving the reader many new perspectives. He concludes the book with some solutions, none of which is easy, but each of them so important.
An Act of Leadership
I am writing this post to promote the book. Not as a friend, but to promote important perspectives we each need to hear. We won’t all agree but we will all be wiser from the experience. What Kevin has done is an act of leadership and this is another reason it fits in this leadership blog. My preferred definition of leadership is ‘Leaders declare a future others commit to achieve’. Kevin is describing a future where we don’t ignore our unhoused neighbors. Instead we see them as people just like you and me. They didn’t deserve the situation they find themselves in and we provide a path out of it. My hope is that after reading ‘When we walk on by’ you will commit to take a small step to help achieve the future Kevin describes. This isn’t going to be easy but what worthwhile goal ever is.
When We Walk By
I first became deeply uncomfortable walking by when I read about a person lying dead on the street. It was an especially cold night and many people had walked by, not offering help or checking on them. I admit, I would have been one of these people. Not intentionally but from a sense of fear of not knowing what to do. What would I say, what could I do? I hope I will act differently if I actually find myself in this situation. After reading ‘When we walk by’, I have no excuse.
Kevin’s book is available on November 7th and here is a link to order a copy. It won’t be an easy read and I felt deeply uncomfortable at times. It is a book you won’t regret reading.