It’s the 16th of December. A time when in the winter of New York, or London, homeless people need more love than usual. It’s difficult to know who to give money to. Will they spend it on drugs, alcohol or on food? How can we ever know unless we follow them around, and no one really has time to do that. So it’s often with regret that I pass homeless people by and feel deeply upset that I don’t know how to make a difference. I think that gifts of food are probably best, as you can be reasonably certain that food will get eaten, unless they use it to barter for something else, but this is unlikely.
So on this winter’s morning, and from the comfort of my tropical home in Thailand, I discover a video on Youtube of a homeless woman being abused in a restaurant and then being rescued by a stranger. I watch the video to the end and see some value in sharing it, but feel a bit like a voyeur and am uncertain to what extent the kindness of the stranger would have been evident if there hadn’t been a friend recording her kindness with a camera phone. But maybe I am being too hard and cynical, after all the stranger does take immediate control of the situation with such authority that it is admirable – something that I believe not many people would know how to do. And so I decide to share the video and hope for the best, hoping that people will be able to learn something from it and not be too critical if they disagree with it.
It’s now lunch time and I take a walk around the garden admiring the coconut palms, and realize how lucky I am to not only have a home and garden, but to live in such a forgiving winter climate, especially as I get older.
Here is a summary of the video as published on Youtube: A desperate homeless woman in San Francisco walked into a restaurant looking for food. The staff knocked her to the ground. As this was happening, a patron stepped in to help her. A simple act of kindness helped to calm the homeless woman down and provided her happiness, even if it was only temporary. Her cries of, “I hate being black” was heartbreaking. The person that came to her rescue assured her that we are all the same and that no person is better than another.