Thursday 4 April 2024

Homeless, not hopeless

Among us all

There are moments that you observe as you walk around your city that present you with a time to reflect on the many blessings that greet us each passing day.

The grip of adversity can rob you of every kind of agency, the belief in yourself, the appreciation of human kindness, the facility for hope, and even a desire to live.

Hurdled in corners all around my city are the homeless and the destitute whose many stories are seen through just their immediate deprivation. There is more to them than what we see. Yet, there is no magic wand to wave with either determination or the almost limp-wristed suave of a sprite from the other world to change things.

Just a little

The burden of the issue is immense, you want to walk away and pretend certain realities are too great to countenance, but I saw a man in distress, he was crying and that touched me so deeply, that I turned and went to him to ask what the problem was.

He had a catalogue of woe to drown fish in its own habitat and I asked him to give me 15 minutes, he had probably heard that too many times to care about the truth of good intentions until I returned just about 20 minutes later having been distracted by an unfortunate situation.

His surprise at seeing me again, yes, I made a promise to a total stranger, but it was not just about him trusting me but a demonstration of knowing that my own words must count for something to myself. It is hence important not to vow rashly, for in not meeting it, your words begin to lose significance to you first and then to others.

More in him

In our exchanges, I found that he was going to be 50 and about to be a grandfather, you just never know if you do not engage, interact with, and deign to see another regardless of stature. One little thing can restore hope, give a sense that there is a tomorrow and help appreciate that no man is or remains an island.

He said he would lie down and say a prayer for me, I cannot remember the number of times we hugged, but that little moment of turning tears into smiles should be the broader story of our shared humanity.

I believe in angels, and many have been sent my way, in the depths of despair there is strength that tells you a better story is just being written.

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