Coming out of Watkins Books after work on one of the last days of Passover (which this year was Easter Sunday) & wending my way to my bus stop along the Strand I was sharply transported back to 90 years or so. On the 9 th. of January 1933 George Orwell’s Down & Out in Paris & London was published to critical acclaim. I can remember reading it when I was 15 and still at school. This was around 1975. I am sure that you would have read this classic but if you haven’t yet its worth a read (or a re visit).
The photo’s above of the Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team (SWAT), I often notice their van around 7pm in the evenings feeding a large contingent of people; who on the 16 th of April 2017, may legitimately described as ‘down & out’. The bottom picture is fuzzy (forgive my intrusion in taking it), but perhaps 40 or so people are being provided with vegan food. I stopped & asked one day & was told that at least 100 meals are usually provided.
I am humbled by the constancy, grace & generosity of SWAT whom I would describe as Earth Angels. I myself often feel overwhelmed by the number of people living down & out around Charing Cross Road. I can & do give a little; & I try to acknowledge everyone, rather than avert my eyes. But I know that in the last couple of years the numbers of people living on the street have increased & because we are living in a Democracy, I see this as partially being in my name & I feel ashamed.
And then I come home. Back to Devon. In the village where I live there are no queues of people waiting for Vegan Food. But the Community Notice Board does ask for contributions & volunteers for the local food bank.
And there but for the grace of G-D go I.
Here is a reading from ‘my’ personal Angel CB ” Your challenge is not to close your heart and shut out pain. The bounty of the earth is bounty for everyone. Abundance is your Birthright. Assist where you can”.