It’s a hard knock life

I was walking to work this morning, entirely lost in my own myriad thoughts, when I passed a man whose appearance caught my attention. He was older than me by at least ten years, red-eyed, unshaven and carrying some bedding. It was obvious he had been sleeping rough.

When I got into work I had a meeting about developing case studies for my charity, during which I heard some harrowing stories about young people who, prior to taking part in our programme, had been bullied, thrown out of home, started dealing drugs and carrying knives..the list goes on.

Back at my desk I received an email about dementia sufferers, which said that loneliness (of sufferers and their carers) is one of the most painful and yet most under reported effects of the disease.

Why am I telling you these depressing stories? Because they’re real, and they’re all around us. Every single day people of all ages are suffering. These are extreme cases, granted, and on a lesser scale we all have our problems to work through. Which is precisely why we should treat one another with love and compassion rather than harsh judgment and criticism. I think the picture below sums this up perfectly.

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6 thoughts on “It’s a hard knock life

  1. Yes. Thank you for this. It reflects the way I see the world. I believe we all have our story to tell and we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got or with the experiences we’ve had. It makes me want to show compassion to everyone, even when they don’t know what to do with it. And I guess that’s why I want to be a counsellor when I grow up. Thanks B for focusing my thoughts.

  2. I remember sitting on the wall opposite Worcester College, Oxford in the 1990s talking to a homeless guy in the early hours of the morning. Said he had been a physics teacher but went off the rails when his wife and daughter died of the same congenital disease. ‘D’you know who gives us the most support?’ I shook my head. ‘The police… there’s a few of them that get our sleeping bags and stuff laundered and tip us off when there’s shelter available.’ ‘Who do you think gives us the hardest time?’ Once again I shook my head. ‘Students, especially male students showing off to the girls…’ I asked him if he was familiar with Schrodinger’s equation. He asked me for a pen and paper and proceeded to write out it’s entire derivation. It’s a precarious world and nobody is immune to falling off their pedestal. That person driving irritatingly slowly in front of you may be on their way to see a loved one for the last time… You have to make the most of the time (and the talent) that you’ve got. I don’t like clichĂ©s but it pays to regard every day as a bonus.

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