During a discussion with a taxi driver the other day I happened to mention that I did voluntary work with a homeless charity. He rudely interrupted me by saying that people on the streets were all alkies and druggies, so basically it was their own fault they were living like that and that he’d seen some of the “beggars” wearing better trainers than him and they all bloody smoke too. He was livid!! Then he started ranting about the food banks and how people get out of their posh cars and go get a bag full of groceries that they aren’t entitled to. By this point I was thinking “why the hell did I open my mouth?”
I wonder why people think this way? What makes them have such low regard for their fellow human beings? Why does society think it’s ok to dehumanise people and treat them like they are worthless? When it’s society themselves who have failed them. Why do people stereotype and judge the less fortunate? Why do they assume that “homeless” only refers to those living on the streets and that alcohol and drugs are the root cause? Why do they think homeless people have low intelligence or are lazy? Why did that taxi driver only see the “posh cars” and not ask himself, “I wonder why these people need to use the food bank?”
So, over the past few days I’ve dropped the words homelessness and poverty into my conversations to see how people responded and I can honestly say they have no idea what’s happening right underneath their noses. Many are ignorant or uneducated about homelessness, some simply don’t care, and others have no interest on the matter. Some are confused with the lies and nonsense they are being brainwashed with. Media facts and figures don’t add up, no-one knows who is telling the truth. What a mess we are in!!! The general consensus is that it seems to be a small minority of us who are aware that homelessness and poverty are in crisis more than ever. The death toll will go up, lives will be lost, more people will become homeless, there will be more unnecessary pain and suffering. It looks like we have a lot of work to do and a lot of opinions to change.