Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sleeping, Part 5: Homeless

While I'd like to tell you that all is sweetness and light in the Land of Smiles, it isn't. Just as in many, many other cities around the world you're likely to run into the homeless, the destitute and other examples of society's debris - camping out in doorways, under a tree in a park, beneath a bridge or under an overpass.

Today's photo is merely a reminder that but for the grace of whatever power you choose to believe in, this could be any of us in far less time than we'd care to learn. While there are con artists all over the world - as well as drug addicts, alcoholics and the mentally ill - there are also the innocently unfortunate.

This couple was sleeping less than a block from a 4,000 baht per night hotel where people were undoubtedly having a fine lunch before maybe going up to snooze by the rooftop pool.

Your unsolicited advice today is just this: be grateful for your life! You may bitch and moan about any number of things today, but you're probably not going to sleep on the sidewalk tonight.


Anonymous said...

I always look at the homeless and realize that what ever comforts I have today could be gone tomorrow. I always give money to down and out people in spite of the unbelievable con games they sometimes play. I would have laid some Baht within the folds of this couple's mats. Sometimes I've had it too easy in life, but I've never been ungrateful or impervious to the circumstances of all the people I encounter.

khunbaobao said...

Ahh... a kindred spirit! Welcome to the blog, and thanks for the comment.

There are occasions when I'm torn on whether it's wise to give money to some of those I walk by (thanks for the post idea on that, by the way) but I usually donate something, too. If they're awake and can get to something close by to buy them food I always prefer that to avoid supporting an addiction, but untreated addictions need feeding, too - and obviously it's not my place to decide who's worthy and who's not so I tend to err on the side of empathy and sympathy.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Unquestioned compassion is the golden rule.