I was in town late tonight with my youngest.
As we were parked waiting for my sons bus to arrive,
I noticed a man sitting on the road.
An obviously inebriated man,
who I would assume was one of the many homeless men and women,
who we really only notice at night.
As we sat there my daughter asked,
“Why is that man sitting on the road?”.
“He’s homeless darling”, I replied.
“But why is he sitting there?”, she asked.
“He doesn’t care where he is sitting, I replied,
as he has no home to go to”.
I began to reason that he was not exactly in the most dangerous of spots.
He was close to the footpath and in a parking spot.
It was okay to leave him there.
However he was sitting down, all dressed in black.
It was definitely possible someone might not see him in the dark,
and they could very well pull in at speed and hit him.
My daughter could not take her eyes off him.
Then he began to move.
Shuffling along, still sitting down he slowly moved out.
Out of his “safe” spot and into the road.
A road that was relatively busy.
Slowly he began to shuffle, across the road, still sitting down.
My little one said, “Oh mum, whats he doing, isn’t that dangerous?
I couldn’t answer as there was so much conversation going on in my head.
Should I get out of the car and help him?
How drunk was he?
And the most ridiculous thought of all,
“Why is no one helping him?”.
I was in my car a short distance away.
For some reason I thought it was okay for me to sit where I was,
and it would be the duty of a passerby to ensure his safety!
Again my daughter said, “Mum he could be hit by a car”.
His shuffling stopped, and he sat there.
A bus approached at speed, but was stopped by a man,
who had seen what was happening.
Another man crossed over the road, bent down and helped the shuffler up.
He was not aggressive.
With help he managed to get to his feet,
and was escorted to a safer “seat”.
My son arrived and we drove away.
My daughter told him what she had seen.
As I heard the wonder in her voice I became uncomfortable again.
What example was I tonight?
Why did I sit there.
If this was not a man so obviously homeless would I have done things differently?
We all like to think we are good people.
Thinking it of ourselves is one thing, proving it is another.
Tonight I certainly did not shine.
Actions speak louder than words.