I read a book called stone cold by Robert Swindell. It was about homelessness, I have never read a book about homelessness so it was refreshing. It certainly made me think about my attitude to homelessness and question why I see it they way I do.
I am glad I was able to see it from another perspective because although it was fiction it's very possible it's similar to those experiencing homelessness.
Although it was a short book it made me think a lot, and it's been a long time since a book made me think. Think about my actions, the way I treat others, the way others view themselves.
I used to think being homeless was unfortunate I have never been horrible to anyone on the streets, only sceptical.
The reason being, there are many people who scam others for addiction and extra money, and this over time has made me sceptical to majority of the people asking for money. Aswell as the worry that if I give some ill be followed or hassled for more.
Despite this the book has made me consider a few things 1) my perceptions are good for me but ultimately effect the person who is rejected, with this perception I keep myself in a bubble with no want to help others 2) I am shutting out the people who may really need help 3) a pound or ten pence can make a difference to someone homeless
4) the people who need help are not at fault, and neither are the people who are addicted it's a dog eat dog world although I don't want to fuel an addiction , it's important to realise people are people we all need love and understanding (not to say I should give money for addiction I'm just saying) And therefore they shouldn't be judged.
I felt sad at the end of the book because Link doesn't get off the streets and stupidly we expect a happy ending because it's a fiction book, but the reality is it doesn't happen, once homeless it's hard to get off without help. Without support, without being clean or help from
The government how do people get jobs or a place to stay? What if the government decide you don't meet the requirement for support because you 'made yourself homeless'.
What exactly does 'make yourself homeless' mean? What if you live in an abusive household and you run away? Is that really a choice? As a child you receive help but what if you don't know where to go? What if you get evicted because of a drug addiction? Addictions are hard to overcome without the proper help and support. See these government guidelines are black and white and they don't look at the grey, and this where problems happen.
I think even when I'm on the train and I see beggars I don't look down on them, no, god no. I think ...it's a hard life, but then it's harsh, ignoring homeless people like they don't exist. It's sad. And we should acknowledge it. Hiding from it doesn't solve it. We are all afraid of being fooled. I think we all think like that, we are all sceptics , it's this rational world. World of 'science' with our evolved thinking and our street smarts, 'we know they're liars '.
But before we run off with our revolutionarised thoughts it might be good to think about all the positives caring and kindness does as much as cautiousness and knowing your stuff is good it makes us heartless too, now in this world, heartlessness gets money but not happiness. Give me a million pounds and I would reject it for happiness and I can guarantee you would too.
So how about this, how about maybe we give them a chance, maybe find out before we judge, I'm not exception I need some courage too, because I'm shy I don't ask, I suppose I assume, but one assumption can lead to generalisations and they re never good.
One act follows many, and so I hope we can all get courage to care more and grow with the people we live with, in this scary world. And maybe we can all get a little bit of happiness.