I never easily walk past a homeless person. I realise it is a divisive topic but I believe that it could happen to even the best of people. I try not to judge them for what they do to make their life on the streets more bearable because I am not in their shoes. I don't know what happened to them to lead them here. All I see is a human being whose life circumstances landed them in an unfortunate situation. At this time of year I find it even more difficult. I usually donate clothes or money to homeless charities. Last week we donated to Social Bite; a social enterprise who are trying to feed homeless people Christmas dinner in their cafe in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Holly has also worked her magic and suggested that John make up a little care package with some essentials to give to a homeless person when we visit Edinburgh today for the Christmas Market. She has also thrown in a £5 McDonald's gift voucher so this should get the person gifted their lunch too.
John is young but even at 4 years old he is aware of homelessness. He went into Edinburgh with me a few weeks ago a commented on the many people sleeping rough in doorways. I explained as best I could and he was concerned. He asked why nobody helps them and gives them a home. "Where are their mums?" He asked. If only life was as straightforward as a 4 year old sees it. Our country would probably be better off.
I don't think it's a disgrace that homeless people choose to crowd every doorway in Princes Street and that they are so visible. For where else should they go? I think it's a disgrace that there are so many homeless in the first place and so many unwilling to show them compassion. They may be immigrants, alcoholics, drug addicts or indeed chancers but you don't know their circumstances. You haven't lived their lives.
I want my children to learn that you treat everyone the same. People living in doorways are not lesser than those in palaces they have just have less stuff. They are still worthy of care, love and compassion as we all are. Not just at Christmas but all year round.
*Buddy has been on the elf juice again...