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Homelessness within the society. Increasing disconnection between people. 

Imagine a room. In this room there are two men sitting on two round stools behind an oak table. These two men are being interviewed by a third person that sits opposite from them, also on a stool. The interviewees are roughly of the same age and height, both with slickly groomed black hair and smoothly shaved cheeks, brown eyes and impressively long eyelashes. The jaw holds a strong and distinct edge to it. Their image is so alike often these two men are in fact mistaken for brothers. The interviewer realises how soft the two’s voices are, in which they reply gently and carefully. Engaging in conversation with the pair the interviewer finds them pleasant to speak with. Their warm personalities spark curiosity, as he or she wants to find out more. Asking them basic questions such as “What are your names?” and “Do you have any siblings?” they eventually arrive at “What is your favourite colour?” and one replies “Green” and the other “Red”. This does not faze the inquirer and the questions continue. Eventually the interview comes to an end.

Take a separate hypothetical now with two men again, however one of them is very different from the other. The first of the two men is one of the two men we discussed above. The other wears apparel that appears tattered, a beard uncut for longer than he can remember, and an unfortunate tooth decay visible on his front row of teeth. Nobody in the room knows anything about him; name, age, amount of siblings or even his favourite colour is left a mystery. That by no means implies that none of those things exist for the man. If asked he will answer. Yet he is not asked while he sits there observing the other man relayed questions consecutively, waiting for his turn. Losing patience he eventually walks out the room. Still, he leaves unnoticed.

Now compare the two events. We have to realise that in terms of its raw elements, there is no difference between the participants or the structure of the two events. There might be contrasts relative to appearance and personality but in bold, the event consists of two men answering questions. Both of these men are human with equally the same rights, capable of answering questions when asked. Clearly the interviewer has an opinion that led to a preference, forming a choice. The interviewer in the second scenario does not even attempt to begin conversation with one of the participants because of this judgement. In the first case they were unaffected by the subjective difference and in the second the interviewer was significantly affected by the objective contrast. Of course to most it would seem absurd to only carry on asking questions to the man who answered Green purely because Green is his preferred colour. Yet when we strip the context from the two individuals and the situation, we find there is no difference between them.

The example is not to say that we make decisions like this, but to illustrate that situations as such are the result of us separating ourselves from those who are different. One might say they looked different or had different opinions, but really it is the one who makes the claim of the difference that is the difference. If one were never there to be opinionated then there would be no opinion.

In reality it appears that we cannot strip context with ease but that is because people are pointing in the wrong direction to begin with. The context does not reside with the subject but instead the observer, in this case the interviewer. We build connections with our environment via our feelings; hence we can address our surrounding as stimuli. Thus even though physically these things appear to hold their own context, the essence is held with the observer truly.

If you were to replace the interviewer with someone who had never come in contact with society before but was equipped with the minimum understanding to ask the same questions, none of the two would be prioritised. They are simply two beings.

So how does this relate to the disconnection of society and the homeless? The problem is in the question. We have already addressed two different groups of people and conceptually separated them. We no longer feel as if we relate to them, and so people begin to disassociate. Perhaps not intentionally since the mind has a way in categorising its surroundings naturally. Yet if we took a moment from our busy and complicated lives, and think about how we are in fact really no different from each other, we could aid diminish that “disconnection”. If we minimise our obsession with the small difference and identify in unison, then perhaps we could remove barriers like this. The point I am addressing here is that by “disconnect” I do not mean, for example, some people give to charity, and others do not. I am addressing a serious issue of our nature, being that we push each other away from one another the more we identify with separateness and individuality. Sometimes it takes extreme and unfortunate events, like homelessness, to expose the issue.

The seemingly sad but beautiful truth to it all however is that it is those who are deprived of much materialistic presence who are closest to this understanding. Anything we own or claim is a statement of our ego. It is likely that it is those who are homeless who are the most giving in attitude.

If we choose to ignore issues like homelessness, or more our identity crisis in relation to homelessness, then we result in succumbing to a weakness. This same weakness when fuelled by the ego is often perceived as strength. It all starts with your want to be you and results in a by-product called neglect. We witness generosity and selflessness on a daily basis, however with this idea of oneness, it seems a greater possibility to swing everybody’s behaviour so that homelessness reaches naught.

Use this way of thought to help those around you who need it dearly. Channel it to influence your actions within the framework of society. Bridge the connections with strangers who sit in solitude on the pavement while you walk to work and remember that you are simply both two beings, identical in nature, something which will infinitely be the case. 

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