People who live on the street are usually totally ignored. They become part of the “street furniture”, and so often get no more attention than regular street furniture. If only we knew the circumstances that put them on the street. If only we knew why living on the street was deemed to be their best option. If only we knew why they chose a life style that involved rejection on a daily basis.
Most of us are not likely to experience what they are experiencing, but we could at least try and understand that there must have been a very compelling reason for them to be on the street.
Just imagine that you were given a special project … to spend just two full days (from Friday evening through to Sunday evening) in the downtown core/center of a large city/town, just with whatever clothes you were wearing and no money!
The following poem is from my book “Just Thinking”. At the end of the poem, there is a link to the book at amazon.com
I sit tonight on the pavement,
People watching… just to see
Who says “Hello”?
Who just walks by?
Who actually acknowledges me?
But I don’t seem to exist
In so many passing eyes.
Am I an embarrassment?
Do I make them feel uncomfortable?
Perhaps I am simply despised?
They are colder than the air
Which surrounds me this night.
For a caring and humane society,
At least as I understand it,
That’s really not right.
Where’s the compassion?
I clearly have so much to learn.
Are there any Good Samaritans?
Do I even exist?
Why is there no show of concern?
They’re wrapped up in their lives.
Fashionable; conforming; neat.
They just don’t see…
People like me…
People who live on the street.
It’s getting quite chilly
But… this was my choice.
A test if you wish.
To add experience to my voice.
I am lucky and I know it.
I do have a home.
I do have food and friends,
And I can leave here whenever I choose.
Unlike many… l am not alone.
To live on the streets
Is in nobody’s dreams.
There are reasons behind such a move.
Reasons we may not understand,
But… is life ever what it seems?
Say “Hello!” to the next person you see,
Sitting in their sidewalk home.
Recognize that reasons they must surely have,
To live in such a way.
Being ignored… and alone.
Treat them as people, for that’s who they are.
It takes little more than a smile,
To affirm that they really do exist.
To afford a level of dignity;
Be friends for a short while.
And when you say farewell.
When you leave and go to your home.
Remember those people
Who… for whatever reasons,
Are living on the streets… alone.