Winter thus far in Vancity has been rather mild compared to previous years. Some say this soggy season is derived from the Pineapple Connection out of Hawaii. The steamed up “Express train” has made for a rather foggy February, leaving many with dark clouds overhead. Sadly, as the nightly chills become less tolerable for us all, some will be left out in the cold and pummelled by relentless raindrops. The homeless are left with less than us all. With Family Day upon us, we must band together to best help our fellow persons feel connected.
Practice is better than preach
Make no mistake, I am not asking you to take a political stance or “Gregor-Bash”on this ignored epidemic, no no. I simply want to reduce the level of apathy in hopes of making the invisible, more visible.
Whether or not you agree with the initiatives being made to rid our streets of homelessness, one thing is for certain, people are still very cold.
Smiles can light up our souls
We are all human, and nobody has ever been hurt by a smile. As our city experiences another Family Day, I urge you all to smile at one another genuinely and wholeheartedly. Make Vancouver an extension of your family. Some of you are expats, orphans, travellers, students or temporary residents often feeling alone in this busy city. Vancouver is a small city with gargantuan hospitality. Share a single moment with someone that starts with a smile and you won’t soon forget it.
A very wise woman once told me that the poorest of villages always band together to pick them selves up and create unity. After a recent stroll around Pioneer Place (Pigeon Park), I was reminded of her voice and wisdom. Collectively, homeless people stand stronger than on their own. However, here in Kitsilano, gentle ostracised souls like Ian (bearded fellow in the lower East side) are left alone. Next time you pass someone like Ian, just smile. Acknowledgement can remind us that we exist and it will always warm the soul.
The most unacceptable approach to this epidemic is apathy. Below is a great display of how opening up one’s heart and voluntarily serving the community can provoke others to smile.