Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Moment With Taylor....


Hello there. My name's Taylor, and I am the newest addition to the House Famous. I've been enjoying my time here and have been becoming more acquainted with the idea of community living. Though if I have to listen to Todd sing along with Bryan Adams again, I might leave.


Spending the night on the streets of Ottawa was quite an adventure. Despite the cold and not being able to sleep, I found it to be a very beneficial learning experience.
After our group split up, I wandered a bit before settling down on a busy sidewalk to panhandle. This part of the night probably had the greatest impact on me. I realized right away the humiliation that comes with being homeless.

Most of those passing by did their best to ignore me, which is understandable. No one wants to be caught staring. I've done this one a lot myself. I suddenly need to grab something from my bag, or adjust my coat, or look across the street... anything to avoid eye contact. I realize now that this just adds to the feelings of loneliness those on the street deal with.
Others muttered their opinions of the homeless to their companions.

"He's not a failure at life, just a failure at getting a paycheque!"

Some others, in a greater attempt at politeness contained their laughter and comments until they were a few feet past me.

A few dropped some change into my hat.

No one said a word to me. And why should they have? I was homeless and probably a drug addict, a criminal, the scum of the earth. I’d probably just pester them for some change to blow on any number of my addictions.

I realized how much we have isolated the poor and destitute among us. I’ve been just as much a part of this even though I’ve spent many hours volunteering in soup kitchens. Somehow in the past I’ve allowed myself to amicably interact with street people while volunteering, and then completely ignore them when I pass them on the street.

This whole ordeal allowed me a small glimpse into the realities faced by those who are homeless. I say a small glimpse because although I experienced the frustration of trying to sleep on the cold Canadian streets, I did not and have not experienced the type of situations that many of our homeless friends find themselves in.

The constant hunger. The loneliness. Deteriorating mental health. Lack of money. Rejection. Addictions. Lives full of abuses.

I guess the fruition of my experience is just beginning to show. I am not an outgoing person by any means, but I am trying to interact more with those I pass on the streets. I’ve always respected my grandfather for the way he treated street people. He often felt compelled to help the homeless he came into contact with, but instead of just giving them some small change, he would invite them to sit down for a full meal at the closest fast food restaurant and actually engage in meaningful conversation with them. It’s this sort of creative compassion that our friends on the street need to encounter.

12 comments:

Tom Waits said...

I think you should be nicer to this todd guy, he sounds really cool.

Bryan Adams said...

Yeah!

Anonymous said...

Taylor I like your style. Todd singing - I moved across Canada so I would not have too. Well that is not true but I can imagine. I wish House Famous would relocate to BC.

Leonard Cohen said...

You don't really care for music, do you?

Sincerely,
L. Cohen

Fortrand said...
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Oderus Urungus said...
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robot said...
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Tom Waits said...
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Jonathan Bell said...
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Marty said...

And they will know you are a true follower of Christ, by your LOVE