“The purpose of life is not to always be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, and to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well”
- Ralf Waldo Emerson
If you knew that you had the power to change the world; what would you change?
In 2017 it was reported that in Belfast homelessness had risen by 32% in the past five years. Nearly 12,000 households were accepted as homeless last year.
In Britain, more than 300,000 people are waking up homeless. Some will spend the night shivering on a cold pavement, others crammed in to a dingy hostel room with their children. And what is worse, many are simply unaccounted for.
So what do we do about this? And why should we do something?
When you give your time, your energy or even your money, you are investing in something that you care about. There is a feeling that comes from helping those in need, when you know you’re making a different to something or someone.
The feeling of change.
In can often feel like it’s you against the world when you try and change the injustices of any individual, but when we come together the problem not only seems more manageable but we also start to see movement. The moment when we start to care about how other humans are living there is the moment that injustices are revealed.
Homelessness can look very different for every individual.
One man has lost his job, his marriage has broken down, he can’t see his children and he has to sleep on the street. Maybe he was the well-dressed man you used to see in your local coffee shop who is no longer there.
One girl has been kicked out of her family home – she can’t find full time work and so she spends any money that she has on hostels. Maybe this is the girl that you noticed sleeping in a shop doorway.
These humans have names, they have families and they have a human right to have a place to lay their head at night.
When we look back throughout history it is the times that humans helped other humans that are so inspired. Helping others isn’t limited to grand gestures or giving times of tribulation. It is more often than not, the times in which someone has made you feel valued and stood with you as you walk through painful situations.
We all experience struggles. We all feel undervalued at times. We all need the help of others.
It is when we realise that we have the power to change people lives that these injustices will cease to exist. Each person has a different need and each person can bring something different when they give.
Let’s be known as a generation of people who are passionate for the needs of others. Lets be people who are known for pursuing justice.
This is why we do what we do, simply because we are all individual but first and foremost because we are all human. Your single act of kindness could change a life in more ways than you thought possible.
This week at OutsideIn we want to thank you for all that you do. It is because of you that we are able to say that 600 hats have been donated to those in need this month. It is because of you that more and more people are waking up and feeling valued.
- Jude Henderson