It is surprising how often in life how often synchronicity happens.
Last Saturday I set off for the East End of London to take some photos and do a little research for the new book that I am writing on every day Victorian era people who lost their lives whilst saving the lives of others.
It was a very cold and increasingly windy morning as I found myself all the way over in Limehouse before 9am and one way or the other ended up walking through Stepney, Bow, Mile End, Bethnal Green, Hackney, Shoreditch and Norton Folgate.
If you’ve never heard of most of these places, don’t worry as they are not places tourists visit and in fact are rarely places those in London visit unless they have a reason to.
Whilst nosing around between memorials at Bethnal Green I came across a homeless chap. He has no family, they having been murdered and committed suicide and he is only 14 or 15 years older than myself.
He asked if I had any money so I could buy a newspaper he was selling in the attempt to raise enough funds so that he might live in a hostel for a while. Of course I said yes that I would buy a copy but then I got my wallet out and it only had 3 pennies inside. Forgetting I have been #Excluded without any help or support for 103 weeks, of course I was carrying no money. In fact a part of me was happily surprised to have even 3 pennies.
I’ve always given as much as I can to help the homeless and those in need, I’m pretty sure I have posted about it several times. Maybe it is because I always talk to anyone and everyone regardless of how well they or I am doing in life. Most people I meet are shocked and horrified to learn of the situation I’ve been put in and then they singularly fail to help in any way at all.
I’m not one of these people so knowing someone from overseas had sent me an anonymous financial gift to help me out just a few days earlier, I went to a cash machine and got out what I could even though I am likely poorer than a good 90% of the people in London.
How sad that it takes someone in my position to help when in reality, we should both be being helped by the government, country and the millions of people who have been helped through these hard times.
He was touched I wanted to remember him with a photo and he has money for a room for a bit now. What he doesn’t know however is that he was the only person I spoke to all week so I was grateful too.
This is how you help people Oliver Dowden