Some thought on our attitudes towards the homeless

So I recently read this article by Upworthy describing some attitudes towards those who are homeless. Frankly, I was disgusted by the cruelty of some of the opinion expressed and happy that Upworthy were trying to raise both awareness and compassion towards homelessness.

I want everyone to remember what I am now about to say. It is so very easy to be indifferent (or even downright cruel) to those less fortunate when you are safe, full and warm in your own places of residence. Yet, this is does not deter from the very fact that you are indeed FORTUNATE and that there are people who would give ANYTHING to have the basic rights that many of us enjoy and under appreciate. It fills me with a deep sense of shame that, as human beings fully capable of empathy, there are people out there who will freely disparage, condemn and even criminalise (yes, you heard me right, CRIMINALISE) the homeless for simply not being as fortunate as the general populace.You don’t like the fact that many homeless people will often get on buses just to try and keep warm when it’s cold? You don’t like that homeless people are sleeping wherever they can in order to avoid the wind and the rain? HAVE SOME COMPASSION FOR YOUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS!

I often here people cry, “Oh, but some of these so called ‘homeless’ people are fakes!” or “Oh, some of these homeless people are ‘undeserving’ because they have an addiction or have squandered privilege!” To these people I say, “Your point is? Does that really excuse your indifference and/or cruelty? Are these people not allowed to make mistakes, or is that something only the fortunate are entitled to? Does your attitude in any way change the fact that there are still thousands of people left of the streets in need of help?”

Remember, this can happen to any of us (though I truly wish it will not) and I’m sure that we would all appreciate some kindness at our lowest points. Please, remember to be just as compassionate to others.

The full article can be found here: http://www.upworthy.com/theyre-not-celebrities-theyre-homeless-and-these-tweets-are-awful?c=ufb1 and all the inspiration for this post goes to the author.

Advertisements