This is a well constructed, well thought out, powerful video. It almost had me in tears. Not because it was soppy. Not because it was tugging on heartstrings but because you could see and feel the impact of human kindness. People are homeless for all sorts of reasons. In my lifetime what were a couple of so called vagrants about the place now and again has become a regular encounter with people who are homeless. There are children going to school from cars. There are people sleeping in doorways and anywhere else just to get shelter. Not just here. Not just there . It is a global problem and some are doing it worse than others. There is no easy answer but the video points out quite clearly the value of a hug, a smile, a bit of a break. Someone who will reach out to the homeless and treat them as a human beings who need recognition and nurturing. We cannot solve everyone’s problems. Some are there as a philosphical choice. Some are there because of lifestyle choices. Some are there because they are mentally ill and there was a decision to let them fend for themselves. All sorts of reasons. You can see most of them have lost teeth and that is the same everywhere. You can see most of them are thin. Worldwide they have the same look. We have made a difference by looking at ways and means of ensuring they have food and drink, warm clothes and blankets and sometimes a safe place to sleep. On one French news programme I watched a couple of years ago they had a place where they took people in for the night to get them out of excessive heat or cold. They could not take everyone but it was a start. One man just was so angry. The person in charge was very good at trying to de-escalate his anger and to get him to be calm. He succeeded but then the man became very aggressive again. In the end he was given a blanket and asked to leave so the others could rest and have some respite. It is a difficult thing to live and a difficult thing to be a helper. The video shows us not to give up on ourselves or them. Just to do simple human things which will make a difference. To be kind. Just be kind. In the two years since this video has been made the world has been kinder. We just need to keep reminding ourselves.
I always used to be awkward in social situations. I was okay once I got going. One day I decided I’d just not worry and take things into my own hands and do the icebreaking. From there it just grew. I have always made a point of making people feel good in their own skin. I make sure newcomers are welcome at work. I make sure people are feeling like they belong. I make a point of noticing if someone feels awkward or left out. I even chat away on the phone when I make routine business calls. The difference at the other end is amazing. If something goes wrong I just say , “It’s okay, we all have bad days,” and suddenly there is an ease in any transaction so that now , in shops, staff rememeber me and I even have business people calling ME back to say things have been resolved. It’s about understanding we are all having a hard time, it’s not nice to be the newbie, that for anyone at the end of the phone anything could be happening in their life. I have never looked back and it it now so much a part of my personality I thrive on it and I am seeing others thrive because kindness just grows and grows. Start with that first step in reaching out. You’ll be rewarded.
I am very lucky to be in a workplace where we have a lot of different cultures represented. We also have people coming from other countries on short term work training and we go overseas for the same reason. It means our workplace is very accustomed to different accents, values and views. We share bits of languages and work hard at learning a few basics so in the morning you hear a lot of different languages. It also means we discuss different values. Something as basic as knowing that Asians use white for funerals and we use it for weddings opens our eyes. That they would use red for a wedding surprises us bit it interests us as well. Even knowing how people grew up and what their staple meals were helps an understanding of how different people can be abut also how they can find their common ground because of it. It is great when our city has its cultural festivals like the Greek Glendi festival, but then Bendigo celebrates its Chinese heritage and Sydney put on a French festival. It is a great way to get people of a nation to share. It is also a great way to cheer people up and make them smile.