I was walking to my local shop last night in a bad mood about some first world problem or whatever.
Approaching me is a face I don't recognise, bearded, carrying a rammed to max backpack, worn boots, stained British Army DPM woodland parka.
In the milliseconds it takes to make an assessment of a person I concluded he was a 'fresh in town' possibly ex-forces, certainly homeless bloke who
was gonna ask me for money when we crossed paths. He didn't.
I walked a few more paces after we passed and I felt really bad. I saw the look in his face, and I recognised myself 25 years ago. Walking proud and
pretending not to be homeless when really the world and her dog was on his shoulders.
I stopped, turned, then walked to catch him up, making contact as I was overtaking him with a good 6 foot space between me and him on my left.
"Sorry to bother you fella, but I walked passed you and thought to myself you may be new in town with nowhere to go, and I just didn't feel happy
walking away thinking I hadn't tried to be decent"
"I'm alright cheers"
"That true definitely man? I know I could be some psycho prick but I'm not honest, I rocked up here 25 years ago with a backpack and # all else, and I
recognised a look in your face that I once had, just wanna make sure I haven't ignored another human after thinking I could help them"
Our eye contact was good, and I could see he realised that my intentions were honest...
"I'm in the # man..."
Turned out he had just arrived in town on the bus, had £5 to his name, didn't know anywhere safe to sleep, what local services were available, just
made a break from a town 80 miles away and wanted to try start again.
I have a previous career background in local welfare services so wrote a few useful contacts and things down for him (I'm a luddite geek who always
has pencil and paper), walked a fair while with him chatting, then showed him a couple of good places he could sleep safe (one of them was one of my
own sleeping places 25 years ago), shook his hand, gave him half my tobacco and a fiver, and wished him good luck.
I had a thought as I passed the guy, and he asked me for nothing, I solicited the conversation, and even probably made him feel a little at risk by
the interaction from a random bloke which explained his initial cagey response, but I'm glad I did now.
I don't really know what the point of this thread is, but if you see someone and think "Ooh they might appreciate a proactive human kindness moment"
then by making minimal effort you will either be able to make a difference, or find out they don't need any help and you can both carry on in your
daily life...at the least you can walk away knowing that another person knows that you personally and genuinely give a # about fellow humans.
edit on 9.4.2015 by grainofsand because: Typo