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