June 8, 2021 - Yesterday I was in City Hall Park, and one of the men that I see in the park a lot who seems to be experiencing homelessness right now, was lying in the sun. It wasn’t a good idea, because it was in 90s yesterday. A friend of his came over to tell him is he should move, but he just waved him off. I didn’t see that there was anything I could do about it, so I ended up leaving a going to get a coffee.
I came back a couple hours later, and there was a well-dressed younger man talking to the man who was still lying on the wall in the sun. The younger guy talking, just by his body language, was so very caring for this person. After a few minutes he got the man to move into the shade and gave him a Gatorade, and left him there.
I walked over to the young guy and told him that I was glad he was able to move the man into the shade. He said that he worked for and organization in Burlington, and he job was to care for people like this, and he had past experience with the guy and he was having an unusually bad day. I really felt the young person’s compassion and concern,
It reminded me of a book I just finished called “Witness: Lessons for Elie Wiesel’s Classroom,” by Ariel Berger. Elie Wiesel survived the Holocaust, and he spent the rest of his life “witnessing” conflict, and then working to resolve that conflict. Elie’s main thing was that we all can take action and care for those less fortunate, we just need to actually see them. This young guy in the park was a real example of what that means.
From the experience the take away for me is to keep working to witness the world, and keep trying to act on what I see. It was inspiring see this young guy do that yesterday, and a reminder that we can all take action, in some way, to care for others and make the world a little brighter.