The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Look Up And Help …

A few weeks ago, as I was going home on the train, a lady got on the tube and announced to everyone in the carriage that she was an ex-drug addict, ex-criminal and homeless.

She then stated that she was not going to go back to her old life and was asking if anyone had any work she could do for them or spare a little change.

She was met with silence.

Worse, she was met with silence from people who all suddenly started looking down at her feet – petrified to make eye contact.

All credit to the lady, she pointed out that they didn’t have to look away because she was the one – in her words – humiliating herself in a bid to keep doing the right thing.

I watched this episode unfold with disgust … so I got up, gave the woman some money and loudly announce that she was an inspiration and I hope all works out for her.

After that, I sat down and enjoyed the feeling there were now 2 people on the train no one wanted to make eye-contact with.

I’m not saying this because I am seeking any praise for what I did, I’m doing it because for a human being to do that is a cry for help and for people to want to ignore it or avoid it is horrific.

Sure we all have busy lives.

Sure we all have pressures and expectations.

But lets hope we’re never in a situation where we have to ask a train of strangers for help because based on this interaction, most would turn away.

There’s a major issue going on right now that we are fast becoming a cashless society. To be honest, I was fortunate to have some Euros on me, and that was only because I’d been in Amsterdam. It’s an issue I am asking R/GA and the Virgin Money Foundation [who help me with Human_2] to look at solutions, because it’s only going to get worse.

But – and it’s a big, big but – if you don’t have cash or you don’t even want to give cash, you can at least give these people respect because they are people … real, live, living people with feelings and emotions … and just having someone acknowledge they exist is better than what they encounter on a daily basis.

16 Comments so far
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you know what campbell, for a planning prick youre alright. sometimes.

Comment by andy@cynic

Occasionally. But when he gets it right he really gets it right.

Comment by DH

I’ll take that. But this isn’t about me trying to look good, this is about looking out for others and if you can’t give a few quid, you can give them a few seconds of acknowledgement.

Hope England is treating you well.

Comment by Rob

better without you in it.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Very well said Robert. The media has tried to inform us that the homeless are crooks and charlatans. The least we can do for this social oppression is to spare a few pounds and show them our respect.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yes. The stigma is if you strangers for help, then you are a criminal. What a horrible way to view others.

Comment by George

Good man Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

In a novel that I wrote five years ago, someone picks up a banana skin and wonders if anyone ever slips on those in real life. You, sir, have provided the answer.

Comment by Up In Your Business


Comment by DH

I meant to post this comment on someone else’s blog, but confusion is always fun.

Comment by Michael Edits

I remember when I was growing up my parents always used to tell me “When you help and give people then only God will bless you with everything”

God has blessed you with a beautiful family, Happiness and one of the best jobs in the world 🙂

Comment by Ramlan Sally

That means Jill, Otis and everyone who worked with him from HHCL to R/GA must have done something really bad.

Comment by DH

Well played Robert. Good advice too.

Comment by George

Well done Robert. I am sure your act had as much impact on that individual as your donation. Hopefully made some passengers rethink their actions as well.

Comment by Pete

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