Walking through Melbourne’s small allies yesterday, with the warming spring sun in my eyes, surrounded by a mix of magnificent old buildings and new shiny complex, I got struck by the beauty of life. I bloody love Melbourne. So much.
I reach this big pedestrian crossing and I see this man begging for money. Homeless it says, and something I can’t really read below it. I walk past him to buy myself a coffee (actually not a decaf this time, I felt like a real one, not because I felt tired, more because I felt like buzzing even more). The man looked so lonely I thought, as I stepped towards my favourite coffee place across the street from where I work.
I walk passed him and people like him every day, judging them without even realise it. I’m convinced that he is a drug addict or a lazy person, as bad as that sounds. And then I thought, what if I don’t know at all what he is like? What if he would love a coffee, not just money to buy drugs for. So I walk back and I ask him if he would like a coffee. And with that small a gesture his soot covered face lights up “I would love one” he said, with a clear voice, not the voice of a drug addict, just the voice of a human. A latte, with two spoons of sugar. I have no idea how he ended up where he is but I judge easy. And that’s nothing I’m too proud of.
Imagine how many people that walk past him, every day, ignoring him, judging him. If I do it, there must be others doing the same. Just one little thought “what if he would like a coffee” made me question all my judgements, and he proved me wrong. He proved me that I was wrong just assuming he wanted money for drugs. And I’m happy that he did. When I think about it, it’s easy not to judge, you just have to start cutting people some slack and treat them like a humans, stop assuming and start asking questions. In the end, I probably felt happier giving him this coffee than he felt receiving it, and I have to start doing more things like this so that I can convince myself that there is love, happiness and gratitude out there in the world. If we act with it, and choose to see it.