People treat the homeless different.
Yesterday I sauntered around Putney in London for a couple of hours, dressed down and without a care. I was method acting to prepare for our film Lucky & Rich; Shooting November, in Prague finance permitting.
Some people give you a lot of sympathy. Some people treat you with a natural suspicion and walk a wider arc. Most people however are just to busy too notice, rushing about in their enlightened lives, looking frustrated and anxious and bothered by it all.
I think the weather affects the homeless much more than the credit crunch. If you don’t have much, then you don’t have so much to lose or conversely so much to give. Which is probably why my amigo with the BIG ISSUE (Street magazine) didn’t try and sell me one yesterday?
Yesterday I found myself asking my imagination the following questions. Where will I sleep tonight? Where did I sleep last night? Where’s the best place to pee? Why do I hate shopping malls so much? Why are people who have so much no happier than me?
It was a great experience.
A friend of mine who is homeless told me that when you beg… you really don’t mind it if people say no, in fact you expect it. What hurts the most is the people who refuse to look you in the eye and pay your humanity no attention.
Try looking a homeless person in the eye and acknowledge their dignity next time you asked for spare change. You may not give them money but at least you are paying them respect. As my mother would say… for there but the grace of God go we.