Am I allowed to feel sad and somewhat disappointed about the lack of emotional connection and humanity in our society sometimes?
My daughter Holly and I were sitting in a coffee shop in Manchester city centre on Friday afternoon sipping a well earned double shot macchiato after some serious retail therapy ,when I spotted a frail, old man having obvious problems walking and carrying a shopping bag inching his way along the main road. He kept stopping and holding out his one good arm to steady himself on a metal barrier surrounding what can only be described as a ginormous hole, in just one of the many areas of the city resembling a crater at the moment. We watched from afar for a few moments in despair as people simply pushed past him, bumped into him on bikes and skateboards (I kid you not) and at best simply ignored his suffering. We could observe no longer, so Holly ran over to him to offer support and literally had to carry him to the nearest taxi. He was on the point of collapse, but no one cared. Why? Have we become so hard? So self absorbed, so unaware of our surroundings and even more unaware of our fellow human being’s pain? Are we all just too busy or too numb?
The news is full of horrific tales of courageous men, women and children in peril, fleeing from war torn, violent and simply inhabitable countries and cultures, who are killed on the journey or trafficked or placed in horrific camps due to some inhumane laws on who owns what and who has a right to live where? And rather than debate this or find a way to support and/or manage this we are consumed by X Factor, Poverty porn, Big Brother and Life on Marbs!
I know I am generalising but I am not in love with or even proud of the human race at the moment! The big picture upsets and depresses me, no end.
Following the old man incident I was also shocked at the number of homeless people, mainly young men on the streets of Manchester, not beggars, men who had no where to live with tragic stories and very little support to help them move on. I chatted to a few and left the city feeling despondent at what is going on under our noses. This came at the end of a week where I had watched a woman have some sort of fit in another famous coffee shop where the staff simply watched, paralysed with fear and indecision until my friend and I stepped up and took over, calling an ambulance, calming the poor woman down, holding her to stop her falling and/or knocking her head and wiping her mouth as she drooled all over herself. Even when instructed the young staff in the shop had no idea what to do, showed little concern, nor was there a single first aider on the premises.
What has happened to us? Where is our sense of fair play, our empathy, our humanity? I know we are all busy, I know life is tough for many, I know we are all rushing around from one thing to another; I know life is not perfect, I know all of this. But PLEASE be present, be aware and be kind. There is always someone worse off who just needs to be seen, to be heard and to know someone cares. If opening your heart and/or stretching out your arms delays you by a few minutes, so be it. You will be a better person for showing your humanity and the world will heal slowly but surely if we all replace denial with action.
Make random acts of kindness part of your working day, every day. Open your eyes and your hearts please!
Smile Jane smile!