The 21st century world is turning into a manic world, governed by work and technology. This became obvious to me as I walked through town today at lunch time, where everyone I passed were engrossed in their own little world, only glancing up every few steps to make sure they wouldn’t walk into anyone while. I’m no different let me clarify right now, but I do try and make sure I’m always watching my surroundings, my active imagination making up stories for different people. These days I find it is getting harder, the advance of technology now enabling meaning the only thing I can imagine people rushing about to do is check facebook or twitter or go chasing pokomon! I’m not having a go at this by the way, I love technology as much as anyone else, I love that if I see something funny in life, I can instantly reach for the phone and share it with my friends and followers..whether they appreciate it or not!
If it’s not technology dictating lives, it’s just life in general, anyone reading this is probably in the same boat, general stress with work, life, how you’re going to pay the next bill, what are you going to cook for dinner, and with me now “I wonder what route I should run tonight for my ultra marathon training!”. All in all, we seem to be losing our communication skills with people. But a couple of things happened to me this week got me thinking and brought me to my blog to write about it.
The first happened yesterday while again having a lunch time walk in the fresh air. It was a stunning hot day for England yet again, and I was on my way back to my office, when I came across an elderly chap selling the Big Issue. For those that don’t know, this is a great initiative to empower homeless or vulnerably housed people to raise enough money to buy more magazines to sell and to get food. This particularly vendor was leaning and facing the wall as if he was going to be sick. I like everyone else in a rush, initially didn’t look too much, after all if he was going to be sick, I didn’t want to be near him at the time! And you could see from the people veering around him they thought the same. Many people see the homeless and automatically assume they are “drunks” or “druggies” and what’s happened is their fault and if they are going to be ill, well, “nothing to do with me”. But something clicked with me, and I stopped, turned around to look at him again, saw he hadn’t moved from his position, and my humanity took over my heart, so I went over to him, tapped him gently on his shoulder and asked if he was ok. He looked at me in gratification and smiled, and told me that his pet dog who lives with him on the streets had taken the last of the food that morning, and he hadn’t had anything to eat, so with the heat he had suddenly come across very dizzy. Without even thinking about it, I asked him if he wanted me to get him some food there and then, and anything to drink, one human to another. He actually turned me down funnily enough! But only because he has to say at a certain “patch” to sell the magazine for a period of time before he was able to leave, and as it was lunch, he had made enough money from the sales to be able to go and buy some much needed food. But he did smile again, grasped my hand and thanked me profusely. This made me feel bad on his part, because I realised how many people had seen him in this position, but had made the decision to walk by.
Then today, I walked past another bloke (guy/gent/man!) lugging the biggest suitcase in the world to some steps, and again, a number of people walked past, probably making the assumption that because he was a bloke, he could deal with it himself! Again, instinct and humanity took over (or am I just a soft touch??) and I started walking to him to help him out, only to receive a grateful smile and a wave to say no thanks as he proceeded to have what looked to be a well deserved rest!
It got me thinking though, I’m not trying to be pious, as I stated at the begining, I too am part of this manic world, and I probably miss many moments of helping someone out, but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could actually make a point of trying to actually physically undertake an act of kindness to someone, homeless or not, elderly or not each day. Can you imagine if everyone did this every day, so that in the end these acts become normal and part of decent every day life rather than acts to write about in the hope of inspiring other people to do the same. My acts were just so simple, just reminding both people that they were fellow humans, and that someone did care enough to stop and see if they were ok. I didn’t expect anything in return, but the smiles and thanks I got felt more uplifting than a days work!
So as my title of the post says, every little helps, see what you can do to bring a smile to someone’s face, as that one bit of kindness may mean more to that person than you can imagine. And if this post inspires you to do the same or more, well that’s fab!