Always Remember –First And Foremost We Are Human Beings

One night, on the way back from my husband’s birthday dinner, we passed a number of homeless people in the stairwell of the car park. The police and other passers-by were there. They thought they were being helpful, by warning us about the situation when they saw we had children. There was nothing to warn us about. My children were not scared or traumatised, they are well informed on the homeless issue, drug abuse and refugees. They are taught the reality of how this can happen, why these people look ill, why they are begging and why we should always help those less fortunate if we can. They are not taught to treat them as inhuman or judge their actions.

Sadly, I do not know what has led to such desperate and hard lives for these people. I’m pretty sure somewhere along the line someone or some part of society has let them down. Rather than ostracising them we need to build them a ladder, to help them get back their self-respect, re-enter society without being judged and for someone, somewhere to give a shit about them.

The upfront cost of this will be far outweighed by the value they can bring to society, both culturally and economically.

Please open your minds, look behind the facade and try to understand the reasons why these people have ended up living a feral life without compassion or humanity.

I find this issue a truly heartbreaking part of our society that I have no intention of hiding from my children. Widening our minds, understanding the core issues and showing compassion in defining the solution requires a generation of people equipped with the skills to do this. I genuinely hope my children are part of that solution.

First and foremost we are human beings, kindness and compassion are core to our soul. Let’s not forget that. x

Nik Davis
Nik Davishttps://nikdavis.com/
NIK DAVIS is a business transformation expert and has spent 20 years in the corporate world. Her comfort zone is order, logic and applying analytical tools to solve complex problems. She is also a keen observer of life, a writer and eccentric. Nik has recently returned to the world of work after taking a career break to spend time with her family. Upon her return, she found that her perspective had changed, as had the world she was returning to. Nik decided to carve out a new place in that world and mould some of it to fit her too. Nik sees life from quirky angles, shaped by experiences and the vast amount of knowledge we now have access to. She likes to write about her experiences and observations. To ‘tell it how it is’ and to find a more authentic way to live, whether in our professional or personal lives. Nik often talks about finding ‘The Third Way’. It’s a philosophy about life, having a personal life as well as a career, making money and being socially generous, being logical and sensitive, living by the rules of a society but not being afraid to challenge them, inspiring others to feel good but not for your own ego, giving rather than taking. Nik wants to make a difference to this world by getting people to see things differently, to try new ways of working but most of all, to re-discover our true selves and therefore reach our true potential. Nik also has two other persona’s: nikdavis which is where Nik writes about her deeply personal experiences of life. Nik runs a facebook group alongside this website to create a safe place for people to discuss the topics that are raised in her blog. Nik’s second persona is Lilly Isabella and this is where she shares her passion of fashion and design.
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Laura Staley
Laura Staley

I heartily agree, Nik. We are all in our human family together. The unloved, “feral,” terrified, lonely people with or without homes-all faces of our own humanity. The beauty and compassion of Mother Teresa’s words seem appropriate here, though we need not be faith-based, to care deeply about our fellow human beings. “I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.” or in the words of the Dalai Lama: “Where ever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” May we find multiple solutions to care, uplift, and heal all members of the human family. May we find ways to heal our hearts and souls-fill our hearts/souls with love and grace, then extend this outward in an ever-widening circle of compassion.

Mike Pitocco
Mike Pitocco

This is becoming more widespread as the days go by. We can and should do things individually and as a society to address the issue of homelessness. As there is no one cause, each much be clearly defined, only then can appropriate, effective solutions be targeted to address each cause. All easier said than done, but it needs to be done and, thankfully many cities and counties are putting action behind their words.
Drug addiction and mental health concerns are two of the primary causes of homelessness. More residential drug treatment beds and mental health treatment beds are essential. Sadly, in the midst of their addiction, many choose life on the street rather than treatment…..they are simply not ready or willing to deal with their addiction; even at no cost. Mental health issues vary with the individual and require a multe-faceted approach. Involuntary treatment would be required in many cases, but beyond short 2 or 3 day mental health holds, long-term treatment is not possible unless the individual is willing to self commit.

In California, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) has shrunk considerably, with many hospitals closing over the last 20 years. Many prior DMH patients wound up in the Department of Corrections (CDC). CDC was court mandated to reduce prison population. Many prior DMH patients who became CDC inmates were released. It is not surprising that many of these individuals wound up on the street. The Counties inherited many prior CDC/DMH patients/inmates when, subsequent to the above, many felonies were reduced to misdemeanors in order to reduce prison population. Crime increased and county jails, which were ill-equipped to handle the influx of inmates, bulged at the seams. CDC population did, indeed shrink……however, County jail and homeless populations increased.

So, what do we do? We can support our local homeless shelters with donations and finances and by volunteering if we can. Suport those who do volunteer. Support county, state and federal leaders who aren’t afraid to implement real solutions…..which will necessarily result in raising taxes….the infamous ‘third rail’ of politics. In many areas faith-based organizations are taking a leading role in addressing these issues. We can also support them with our time, talent and money.

If, as a society, we are not willing to pay the price (in time, talent, and dollars – lots of them) it will cost to address the issue of homelessness, there will ultimately be an even bigger price to pay as the problem reaches and exceeds epidemic proportions.

Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli

A story recently struck my attention: it is emblematic of the importance of abstention from judgment. I propose it again in synthesis and leave it to your reflection.
A doctor enters the hospital immediately after being called to the emergency surgery for a child to work. In front of the operating room he found the father of the child complaining that the doctor was late, that he was proving irresponsible and unmindful of his child’s health, etc. etc.
The doctor smiled and said, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital and I arrived as fast as I could, and now, I would like you to calm down, so that I can do my job!”
“Do I have to be calm too? What would happen if your son was in the shoes of my child right now, would you be quiet? ”- The angry father said.

The doctor smiled and replied: “I want to tell you what Job said in the Bible:” From the dust we came and we will return to dust, blessed be the name of God! We doctors cannot always do miracles! Don’t worry, we will do everything possible for your son! ”
“It is easy to give advice when we are not directly affected!” – murmured the father.
The intervention lasted a few hours, at last the doctor left the operating room, and said to the child’s father: “Thank God your son is safe!” Then he looked at his watch and left in a hurry as he said: “If you want to know more, ask the nurse! “.
“Why so arrogant? Couldn’t he wait a few minutes and tell me more about my son’s condition? said the father to the nurse.
The nurse with tears in his face answered him:
“The doctor’s son died yesterday in a car accident, and the doctor was at the funeral when we called him for urgency and now that your child is out of danger and is well, he rushed to see at least the burial of his son!”
We never judge anyone, because we don’t know what the person in front of us really is experiencing!

Sherry McGuinn
Sherry McGuinn

What a beautiful story, Nik. And what a word it would be if all parents were like you! Thank you for sharing this.

Aaron Towle
Aaron Towle

Lovely thoughts Nik. I am especially heartbroken for homeless veterans. We shouldn’t scorn them for the hard life they exist in, they are human beings. It is hell enough living on the streets, most of us will never know what they go through to survive…

Susan Rooks
Susan Rooks

No one knows for absolute certainty, Nik, what lies in store for us. Any one of us could lose all that we have. Any one of us could end up homeless … for a day or for years. A good friend of mine, who was going through an unexpectedly nasty, nasty divorce, ended up living in her car for a month or more … she’s fine again now that the divorce finally went through, but she was new to the community and didn’t have easy access to safe places for that short period of time.

It can happen to anyone. A helping hand is critical.

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