Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Bryce

This is Bryce.  Most days he sits outside of The Body Shop in Camberwell, selling The Big Issue.

I don't know why Bryce is homeless, but I do know that last year his wife fell and broke her hip.  Badly.  I know this because he told me when I asked him 'how are you going?' as I bought my regular copy the magazine from him.  It was like he just wanted somebody to tell, and I happened to be that somebody.

I don't know why Bryce is homeless, but I do know he is well spoken, unfailingly polite and always keen for a conversation, or even just a brief hello.

I don't know why Bryce is homeless, and neither do I know why our current government seems to think that people who have fallen on hard times, or who have suffered at the hand of bad luck, are the ones responsible for whatever fiscal issues (they imagine) our country has.

I don't know why Bryce is homeless, and I don't really know if my regular purchases of The Big Issue help to keep him afloat.  But I hope they do.

I do not share the religious beliefs that many of our politicians claim to hold, but at this time of year if we cannot hold out a hand to help those who have fallen, then when can we do it?

In the midst of the excess and wealth of the season, we need to find a space for those who are not so lucky.

Hope you all have a happy, restful and above all else, peaceful Christmas.   Cheers SM

23 comments:

Mary Hone said...

He looks like a very nice man. I agree, charity to others needs to happen all year long, not just in December.

Andrea Priebe said...

I always knew you had a big heart ... we have the same issues over here. Our Congress has cut food stamps and medicaid down to the bare bones while they spend billions on a military budget. Then they filibuster the Veterans Budget for medical help after they come home from fighting our rediculous wars. They claim we need to be fiscally responsible while they give tax breaks to millionairs and corporations. I am with you, Stewart, now is the time to talk about helping the poor and every day is the time to do it. My greatest wish is that the normal poeple in our countries wake up to what is happening and vote these oligarchs out of office. Meanwhile, thank you for speaking out, Stewart. Change comes from the smallest of first steps. I wish you and your family a wonderful, heartfelt holiday.

Andrea @ From The Sol

ladyfi said...

I so agree with you. We really do need to extend a caring hand and heart to our fellow human beings.

Irma said...

Hi Stewart,
This is a nice man to see that.
The government is cutting back on everything, even here in the Netherlands, a lot of cuts, there are people who really can not eat, and to go to the food bank.
Too many homeless people there are in the Netherlands also.
Charity is important not only in December.
Best regards, Irma

Liz said...

What a heartwarming post Stewart! There needs to be more kind hearted people in the world like you doing whatever we can... even if all we can do is donate a small sum or give a helping hand where needed.

TexWisGirl said...

bless that man and his wife.

Rustic Vintage Country said...

You're a grand chap bringing this to our attention and giving us a very warming post! He'll never know, but I'm sending him a virtual hug! Merry Christmas Stewart. x

Fun60 said...

There are many people on the streets of London selling The Big Issue so it isn't possible to buy from them all but I have noticed that an acknowledgement of them as fellow human beings is a small but appreciated act that we can all do. Well done Stewart for recognising his need to share a problem.

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Nicely expressed Stewart. I've never seen a homeless person here in the States looking as nice and dressed a well as Bryce. Even in hard times he still has class.

bas said...

Heel mooi opgemerkt natuurlijk gaan we niet zo met mensen om ook zij hebben recht op een normaal leven.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Well said.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Hear hear! YAM xx

Margaret Adamson said...

Unfortunately if seem to being like this the world over. we All need to extend a caring hand to the less fortunate and there are more people needing help than in previous years and certainly in Northern Ireland we now have food banks. it is a sad reflection on our society today.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Well said. And I could not agree with you more. The only thing that surprised me (and made me even sadder, if possible) is that I had to stop to think about where you live because it could have been written by someone on this side of the pond. I don't understand what's happening to our world.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

It does not seem to fit with this post exactly but because I may not get back to you until after the Holiday, I wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. And also to thank you for your thoughtful posts and comments and as always for hosting WBW. All of the above are gifts and I'm grateful.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful post and photo of Bruce ~ So true ~

Happy Holidays to you,
artmusedog and carol

Linda W. said...

Good for you for helping out Bryce. I used to buy newspapers from a homeless man outside the Starbucks I frequent. Over the months, I got to know him well. Then one day he wasn't there anymore. I haven't seen him for several months now. I often wonder what happened, or if there was more I should've done to help him. I do agree with you that the governments don't do enough to help the homeless (especially those who are mentally ill).

eileeninmd said...

I agree well said, Stewart.. Bryce looks like a very pleasant man..I wish the government would step up and help the homeless..I think large medical bills are hurting people when they should be helped..Thanks for this post! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Jo said...

Well written en touching post, Stewart. We can't even begin to depend on our powers that be anywhere in Africa to help the homeless. Those who care are people on the ground and help where-and whenever they can. My thoughts and prayers are with Bryce and his wife. Seasonal greetings. Jo

Felicia said...

Oh my how sad. and you are right about the government and also right that if we as humans helped other humans in trouble there wouldn't be the need for handouts.

I sure hope Bryce and his wife have somewhere to go on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas Stewart.

Hazel Ceej said...

Wonderful thoughts. May God bless Byrce. Happy Christmas to you.

Karen Hayward-King said...

Sometimes we just see the homeless as invisible people. We look at them as authors of their own misfortune. The truth is, we could all easily end up in that position, especially as we age. When you take the time to acknowledge them and talk to them, you find that many have really fascinating stories to tell. Glad you took the time to talk to Bryce.

Bill Nicholls said...

Thought the Big Issue thing was something sold in the UK mostly by east europeaians who I will not support. Don't seee many older homeless round here onthe street like that. They deserve better