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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Homeless People, What Belong To?

When I help food service for homeless people, I always feel all of us seeking a place to belong to. In our society there are many groups that shape who we are.

All of us, Australians have immigrated from other countries except Aboriginal people. But some people boast their birth certificates and their language competence. Sadly, non English speakers and Aboriginal people are often excluded from Australian society. As far as I know, none of NES people is happy to hear the question, "Where do you come from?" So, I do not ask that question and respect privacy. If a person trusts me, they happily tell me their long stories. The most tragic group is Aboriginal people, nearly "invisible"
in our daily conversations and society --- once, my sociology lecturer told us so and I agree with it.

It's all up to an individual option which social group to belong to. Membership is not simple. Very varied such as from religion, ideology, educational level, occupation, hobby etc, etc. They form an identity. In my view, Australian society allows a person to have more social mobility than Japanese society. Here, we have a second chance to make our living than a rigid and so competitive Japanese society.

If Australian society is kind to accept people, what about homeless people? Any Australian is found among homeless people : native English speakers, non English speakers, rich, elite etc, etc, whoever and whatever. Why they prefer to floating and a dangerous life rather than joining a community that guarantees identity, security and safety? Why they turn their backs to a sweet second chance?

I found one reason, because
homeless people lack the sense of being loved by anyone. A feeling "Being loved by someone" motivates an individual to join a group. Homeless people do not have the sense of belongingness. So, any social membership is "vanity of vanity" and homeless people won't join any community.
The food were beef soup, rice, bread, sandwiches, quiche and some sweet, the donation from local shops and people. I tried the soup a little bit. Wow, very nice!! and got why always people dashed to soup.

During the food service, a singer kept singing with a guitar. We sang together. Beautiful music opened homeless people's hearts.
I had long and emotional conversations with several homeless people. I'd like to listen to homeless people more and want them to have a feeling of being loved by someone on the earth.

My favorite song... John Lennon, "Imagine."








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