Monday, September 29, 2014

Not a normal post

I've been travelling a lot for work. It is easy to spend the whole day inside. Waking up in the hotel. Eating breakfast in the hotel. Running a day long event in the hotel. Retreating at the end of the day back to my hotel room for some room service. It gets claustrophobic.

So I often head out at night. I walk around the block, or several blocks, or half the city depending on how stir crazy I am. Just breathing in being outside.

Today was one of those days and I needed to get outside. I'm in a part of a city I know quite well, so I picked a route that took me past plenty of pretty shop windows to admire. It was dark, just after 8pm and as I walked past lit windows filled with luxury goods homeless people were rolling out their sleeping bags. The contrast was just enormous. Canberra has the second highest rate of homelessness but you don't often see it.

As I walked I saw a young man go up to a homeless man sitting by a wall. He crouched down and pulled two bottles of beer from his bag. The homeless man looked so happy but then realised he had no way to open them. The young man produced a bottle opener and opened them both. As he stood up the homeless man was thanking him. There is a good chance beer is one of the reasons that man is homeless and a sandwich would probably do him more good but the beer made him so happy.

It is easy to be judgmental. But here I am sitting in a lovely hotel room, how do I know what that homeless man's life is. How can I judge that young man for giving him the beer? Happiness comes in so many forms. That was probably the highlight of his day, maybe his week. Am I to judge his happiness?

This isn't one of my normal chirpy posts. Maybe it is a one off, maybe I'm taking the blog in a new direction, towards more reflections. There is a lot of random stuff that wanders through my head and I might share it every now and then. What do you think?

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