Recently in a meeting at work we were told about a homeless shelter for men in Sydney, The Matthew Talbot Hostel. I had never heard of the place but I have been informed now of the good work it does for homeless men living on the streets of Sydney including medical services they would otherwise not receive.
We all see homelessness on the streets, and walk passed with apathy most of the time not even registering the people. Its true some of them are there by choice while others are victims of circumstance…None so much as the story I was told in this meeting:
A co-worker frequently visits our town hall store, and has seen a particular homeless man outside many times. However, on this particular day he was sobbing and crying. He bought 2 coffees and went over to talk to the man (how many of us have done something like this? I personally only once) He discovered the reason for the crying was that it was the anniversary of the death of his wife and child.
In his previous life he had been a successful academic of sorts, but around 5 or 6 years earlier he had lost them both in a car accident. This had set off a nervous breakdown and he was just unable to cope anymore…I can’t imagine how I would react to this….
So the next time you walk passed a homeless person and just dismiss them as someone who isn’t worth the time or effort, or asked for a donation towards a charity that supports the institutions who care for these people, stop and think! Not all of them have had the life you’ve had…..Like Phil Colins said, “Its another day in Paradise, for you and me”….