I saw a lady, sat on a rock, on my walk home from work. She had a sticker book hanging from her hand whilst she held a bag of chips, stuffing them into her face with her spare hand. She looked at me and I smiled, she smiled back. She was a lady with learning difficulties, but I didn’t know that looking at her, she’s just another human.
The old man who smiles and wishes you good morning in his hushed, nervous way. Body language attempting to convey weakness,whilst avoiding eye contact in preparation for the offensive language he may get in return. When I smile at him and return the greeting, his eyes light up, happy to have had that brief human contact. Alone, and sad, day & night the mere conversation may be enough to make his day.
The mother with the pram walking along a road crowded with teenagers drinking and shouting, as I walk towards her I give a reassuring nod and a smile. She smiles back, happy because she knows that in that moment, I am there to help if she needs it.
The dog tied up, franticly barking for help and attention, scared of people walking around her. I walk up and let her sniff my hand, offering a stroke behind her little ear. Calming her slightly and tell her she’ll be al-right, even though she’s cold and left by her owner, shopping inside. A smile at the dog, and although the dog can’t smile, the licking of my palm is enough to prove that she’s calmer for my intervention.
The man who sits in the floor, covered in several layers of bedding. Homeless, alone, I always talk to him, ask him if he is hungry. He tells me “I have some food thanks mate, just freezing cold.”, so I gave him a pair of gloves and a scarf and told him that if he needs anything to let me know when I pass. Every time I am on a late I speak with him, every time he smiles at me.
The problem is with humanity is that we have, truly, forgotten how to be human beings to one another. Instead our emotions are digital, threatening, distant or no existent. We hide behind computers or other humans, always offering excuses as to why we act immature and unhelpful. Often we are greedy whilst someone nearby suffers without, yet this isn’t a trend that we’ve suffered from for years, this is recent. When I was young my parents would help anyone, and at least half of the street I lived on would do the same. This change is recent and its alarming, alarming because I want to bring children into this world. I will, of course, be educating my children to be exactly the same as me: Human. All life is sacred and every living thing should be treated with the love and respect that you want to be treated with.
Granted I wait for the response of “…but you eat pigs…” or “…you have been violent in the past…”. I don’t pretend to be someone who hasn’t been that inhuman animal that has treated others with the disrespect that comes with being subhuman. I have eaten animals and still do, often deciding to not question where, or how, the animal I am eating died. However I’d not ignore a homeless person, I wouldn’t abandon someone getting assaulted in the street. I’d stand with them, protecting the weak and the innocent, because its how I have been brought up. Since my father passed away, I can honestly say, I’ve changed. Its taken time, but I see life as something that’s worth, worth its weight in gold. I don’t spend as much time as I’d like, with the people I love spending my time with, doing the things I enjoy. What can I say; I. Am. Human.