I stopped today to talk to a young guy on the street.
In my clean white sneakers, with my hair done and makeup on I crouched next to him, leant on the wall and chatted.
Patted his dog. Asked him about his story. Listened.
I don’t tell you this so you think I’m nice.
Somedays I’ll admit I just walk past.
You know some times I’m busy, rushing.
I flick a quick smile or chuck a couple of coins in their direction.
Try not to think about it too much as I walk into a store and spend more than they get in a week on a pair of shoes I don’t really need.
This is my town though.
In my home, people shouldn’t be homeless.
I’m not sure what the answer is.
Not 100% on what I’m going to do about it just yet.
I called some people who do great work on this in our city to find out what they need right now. I'm starting with giving to them.
I know It’s a messy subject.
One tangled up with histories of hurt, abuse, substances, mental illness.
But in my work I talk to clients day to day about writing new realities.
Finding a way out of things that are holding them back.
That’s more than a pretty idea. I believe it’s possible for everyone.
Not just white middle class people with internet connections.
But I recognise that some people start on the back foot.
Someone’s ripped their pages out and snapped their pencils before they’ve even had a chance to start.
I know we’ve all been in places before where we needed someone to stop.
To listen. To hear our stories. To let us know they think we can make something beautiful out of our lives.
I believe part of realising how we want to write our own story is having the grace to listen to others, where they are right now.
With no judgement.
To metaphorically hand them a pencil, and a new bit of paper, so they can start writing a new reality.
In doing so, we add an essential word to our own story, which will help to shape us too.
May we add it to our stories many times over.
P. S - this adorable little pup is called Saint! How cute is she!!