Beggars Can Be Choosers

Happy New Year to you all!

I hope you had a good one?! Mine was busy and full of random dramas that I found myself being unwillingly involved in, I wish I could share some of these stories but they are not my stories to tell so you will have to wait until I write a ‘fictional’ book! (I’m just imagining people freaking out whilst reading that comment… don’t worry, I won’t use your real names…)

This morning saw a situation that got me thinking about life choices. And before you roll your eyes and think “Here we go, she’s off on a quest for world peace again” please note that I have kept it short(ish).

A few years ago, I bought Duvet Dave (the local homeless man who didn’t like to wear clothes, and preferred to wander around with just his duvet, hence the name) a McDonalds meal. He shouted at me and basically told me to go away using various profanities that wouldn’t be welcomed in church. He didn’t want the MacDonald’s meal.

I know there are many apps and volunteering opportunities to help the homeless but this morning I walked passed a man sitting near Trafalgar square. I avoided eye contact with him, and thought of an article read about how horrible it is for the homeless to feel invisible, and how they are often unacknowledged as they are passed on the streets. I walked up to Leicester Square in search of a coffee shop and bought a cup of tea and a cookie and walked back to find the man.

“No.” Was his reaction to my “Hello”. I offered him the cup and he said that he didn’t drink Tea. I asked if he would prefer a coffee? “No”. I offered him the cookie. “No”. I said, “You must be freezing?” to which he replied “Yes”. I said that surely a hot cup of tea would help a little bit.

“I told you I don’t drink tea, I haven’t drunk tea in years, and I prefer Hot Chocolate”.

Unsure what to do, I placed the tea and cookie next to him in case he changed his mind and walked away, a little stung by his reaction. I wasn’t exactly expecting a marching band… he didn’t even need to say anything, but I was now late for work and he had pretty much told me to piss off, which threw me a bit.

2016 made me believe that everything happens for a reason. We are all on our own little path and heading in the direction that we see fit. Instead of thinking of myself (and my feelings) I started to think more about his life and the things he must experience. Why should anyone be expected to drink/eat something they don’t like? All because some middle-class woman comes up to you doing her ‘good deed for the day’ with expectations of thanks and gratitude? Our paths may be different, controversial, unorthodox, or unexpected, but we need an element of control over our own lives/identities for our own sanity.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, nobody should be expected to take any old crap, everybody should stand firmly for what they believe in, and sometimes we need to remember that just because someone does something that you do not see as ‘right’… it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are wrong.

I shall now stop banging on about paths before I get lost, but watch this space January…. I think it’s gonna be a good’un!