He is homeless but still human

The scene included below is one I saw earlier this week but before you view it, let me set the scene.

The yellow building you see in the background in a Westfield shopping centre in Sydney’s CBD. This particular centre is filled with luxury branded shops including MIU MIU, Armani, Saba and Oroton. The tiles are glossy the ceilings are mirrored and the clientèle is obviously wealthy. Compare this to the man on his knees, barefoot, begging…desperate.

Shamefully, a common scene

It was a winter morning during peak hour, I stood and watched for a few minutes. City workers all seemingly in uniform, Jacket, scarf and matching scowls passed this man.

100 passed, not one stopped. 

The man had a cup out in front of him, his hands clenched together. His goal was to get enough for breakfast that morning , the 80 cents in his cup wouldn’t do. I bought him some toast and a coffee but this post isn’t about giving money to the poor or feeding those who are hungry. This post is about respect.

Out of the 100 that passed this man, I wonder how many gave him a second thought.

So the man (I wish he’d have given me his name), said a couple of people had dropped coins in his cup and that he was thankful for that but what broke my heart was that I was the first person that had spoken to him that day. I understand a lot of people have issues letting go of the money they worked hard earning but can we not spare time to say hello?

This man is homeless but he also human.

If you can’t spare some change for someone who is desperate enough to beg spare some time to speak. Tell them, you can’t spare some change but you wish them well. No one chooses to be reduced to begging for change but we can all be part of the change.

Whilst all the talk in Australia regarding the homeless is about the criteria for homeless and whether to extend that or not, I think this matter is irrelevant. One fact will always be fact, regardless of the classification criteria… the homeless and human an should be treated as such.

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4 thoughts on “He is homeless but still human

  1. I had the chance to help and was grateful for the opportunity. He was as stubborn as a mule but was in a real bad way …I only noticed him because the passing traffic was laughing.
    His pic is in my gallery and he is(was) for me one of the icons of Melbourne. He has quit begging just in the last few months and works for one of the gods as a street preacher …I must admit that I made no judgement of him as a homeless person and am happy for him but am a little sad for what he has become …but like I said, happy for him.

    Street photographer Rule no#1: always carry spare gold coins.

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