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

If You Want To Be Treated With Respect, Treat Others With Respect …

I appreciate what I’m about to write is something deeply important to me.

I’ve written about this situation before.

[Actually there’s tons of posts about it, so if you’re interested, click here]

Hell, I even started a lobby group to try and stop it.

But a few weeks ago, I was reminded how much needs to be done.

Or said another way, how bad this situation is becoming and – if government figures are to be believed – how much bigger it will become.

I am talking about homelessness.

More specifically, societies apathy towards it.

Now I posted this story on Linkedin a while back and was met with a bunch of abuse.

People saying I was trying to ‘big myself up’ for giving to the homeless.

People saying I was threatening and bullying to those who don’t.

People telling me to remember that we are all going through situations others can’t see – and so to expect everyone to help is bordering on ridiculous.

I get it … I’ve written about that too [though I can’t find the bloody link to the post that specifically dealt with this] and I accept that while I was not in any way trying to ‘big myself up’ about giving to those who need it, I get it could be construed that way – especially if you don’t know me.

But – and it’s a big one – while I absolutely appreciate it can be confronting to have someone stand in front of you asking for help [and that may also trigger all manner of personal issues from people’s past] the actions and reactions I’ve seen over the years [and specifically in the last year of London public transport] would seem to suggest that either the vast population of London is going through that or they.just don’t care.

Are there other possible reasons for it?

Of course.


But my point is that ignoring the homeless has seemingly become the ‘method’ and all I am endeavoring to do is to shock people out of this malaise and maybe realize their situation – however bad – is not as bad as theirs.

Please note, I’m not even talking about money or food, just acknowledgement that the person in front of them exists.

Nothing brought this home to me again than a situation a few weeks ago.

An elderly homeless lady very politely went around the tube asking for help.

Every one of these people, every single one acted like she didn’t exist.

Didn’t even lift their eyes up.

Fortunately I had some money and food on me so I was able to help but even if I didn’t, I would have had said I was sorry I had nothing. Not to make myself feel better but for her to know she was seen … that she existed … that she mattered.

Now I know some will say there are many people who pretend they’re homeless and make a ton of money out of it – but apart from that being the bullshit spouted by the Daily Mail – anyone who has to ask strangers for help day in, day out just isn’t doing well.

Let’s hope it never happens to you.

Let’s hope you never feel like you don’t exist and have no value.

Let’s hope the people who have countless reasons not to give don’t close their mind to the issue at hand.

As the title of this post states … if you want to be respected, if you complain about people not giving a shit about other people, then maybe you want to start with your behaviour rather than blame everyone else.

7 Comments so far
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Well said Robert. Anyone thinking this was a post designed to self congratulate your act of compassionate generosity obviously does not know you. Even if you were, the way you have written this post demonstrates a desire to help those who are ignored or denied. We all face battles others do not see but the difference with the homeless is their situation is in plain sight but so many act like they are blind.
Your acts and messages over the years shook me out of my habits of the past and I am grateful for it.

Comment by George

I read the comments when you posted this on linkedin and found it shocking you were being painted as a bully. There may be many reasons why an entire train of passengers ignored a homeless woman asking politely for help, but it doesn’t mean it is right. I read what you are saying as an attempt to wake people up to the fact that someone asking strangers for help is the most desperate situation anyone can be in and that demands, at the very least, acknowledgement of their existence.

If you really were a bully, you would not have covered the people on the trains faces. The people shouting abuse at you should start by having a look at their own actions.

Comment by Pete

They don’t look very bullied to me. Look like they need some.

Comment by Billy Whizz

If passionately representing people who are often ignored is bullying, then that is the sort of bullying that I can get behind.

But let me be clear Robert. I do not view what you wrote or what you did as bullying or grandstanding,

Yes, I know you, but if I didn’t I would still regard what you are saying as a reminder of our duty to not get lost in our own World, especially when there are people around us who are asking for help just to survive.

Comment by Lee Hill

What Lee said. Even though I’m more sceptical than you (due to behaviours I’ve witnessed), I don’t feel bullied by your opinion at all.

Comment by John

Being bullied by Rob is like being bullied by a forest fan. Which is annoyance, not bullying.

Comment by DH

The title of this post says all you need to say.

Comment by Bazza

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