My Conversation With a Homeless Person
--by balou, posted Jul 19, 2021
Whenever I see her, I make sure to give her something, and if I am out of money at least talk to her for a few seconds. When younger people are around, I often make sure to drop a few coins into her cup while passing her a note without anybody seeing it in hopes that they will leave her alone.
Today she surprised me. I was passing her again, giving her some money, and asked her how she was. She surprised me by saying that she wanted to thank me. Not for the money. Well, for that too, but for always taking the time to talk to her.
She mentioned how hard it is for her to have so little money that she has to beg. She often feels ashamed, but that she now has prepared for several days (!) to talk to me, and to thank me for treating her like a human being. People walking by, sometimes dropping some money, but rarely making eye contact or talking to her make her feel even more transparent, ashamed, almost non-human. She said she was looking forward to me walking by because she knew I would look at her and see a person. On hearing all this, I had tears in my eyes, still do, when thinking of this.
I still don't know why she is on the street, maybe one day she will open up, but I will not ask her right away. But I will be even more on the lookout for her, making sure to talk to her as often as possible!