I saw my first homeless person in London today. It broke my heart, more so than back at home. I think it’s because he was sitting in a tube station and hundreds of people were rushing past him, in their fancy suits on their fancy phones, talking in their fancy accents. He had his head hung, staring at the ground so I couldn’t even make eye contact with him. It was the worst feeling too, because I couldn’t stop and give him money because it was rush hour and I had to keep up with the class, I also had this sense that even though I wanted to give him money that it might not help much. I felt really helpless to be honest.
It got me thinking though about how privileged I am to be doing what I am doing, in the place that I am and studying what I am studying. It also put me in a bit of discomfort as well, I never want my education, I never want academia to make me inaccessible. Does it make us inaccessible because we are too busy thinking about ideas rather than looking at what is right in front of us? Or does it make us more accessible because academia reveals something significant about the human condition?
Is it more significant that I cried at the ending of a production of Romeo and Juliet or that I cried about the image of the homeless man in a tube station? Which is more important?
Something I am still figuring out I suppose.