VERITY LUSH: Remember, eye contact and a ‘hello’ cost nothing

Verity says homelessness makes those who aren't, uncomfortable
Verity says homelessness makes those who aren't, uncomfortable

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Come on, ‘fess up.

Who’s finally cracked and put their heating on this week? Or is it just me?

Who are we to decide whether he deserves help and whether or not he is ‘worthy’ of it?

It never fails to amaze me how quickly the British weather can turn.

One minute we are in a mild autumn, the next, we are all shivering and talking about our national obsession.

My boiler is merrily feeding the radiators, which in turn are feeding the children of British Gas executives.

It always worries me at this time of year that heating is so expensive and so many people cannot afford it.

Being warm enough should not be a luxury that only the young or comfortably-off can afford.

There was a homeless gentleman outside Tesco Express this afternoon.

It is bitter on the day that I am writing this column, and he looked chilled to the core.

He was sitting on the stark, cold pavement begging for money, food or hot drinks.

Whatever has led that guy to be there, who are we to judge?

Who are we to decide whether he deserves help and whether or not he is ‘worthy’ of it?

The idea of one of my family ever being in such a position is frightening and unfathomable, and the majority of people passing him by looked down and not at him.

This is our own discomfort showing and coming to the fore.

Are we uncomfortable because we are going home to warm houses?

Are we uncomfortable because we do not stop to help and so it is easier to look away and ignore?

Perhaps we are scared that the person is a danger in some way, or unstable.

Frankly, I imagine it’s a combination of all these things, and more.

I also imagine that I’d be feeling a tad unstable myself, were I ever to find myself in his position.

A hello is free, eye contact is free.

Saying no to giving away your hard-earned cash is also free, and speaks volumes more than ignoring the plight of someone who was once, as were we all, a fragile newborn baby, with a life ahead of them.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR COMMON SENSE TO PREVAIL IN THE US?

Another week, another shooting. What is going on?

America, still refusing in large part to admit that their gun laws are an issue, are mind-bogglingly daft. And/or pig-headed.

It is akin to saying that allowing human beings to drive cars does not contribute to road traffic collisions and casualties. Where is the logic?

I watched Bowling for Columbine again recently, and the concept of sleeping with a gun under my pillow, or being given a choice of free guns by

my local bank for opening an account with them, is utterly alien.

And thank goodness.

Our weather and our tourist attractions may be lacking in comparison, but our common sense appears to be streets ahead, in this respect at least.

THE THRILL OF RUNNING UP A HILL AND OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE

Today, perhaps as you’re sitting reading this in your warm and comfortable home, I shall be on Portsdown Hill, ready to run a race with my friend

Anneke, my husband, and a few hundred other folk.

Much as I love running, I hate entering organised races.

I hate the pressure I put on myself – it fills me with dread and fear.

It takes me well and truly out of my comfort zone, and places me right on the edge of my discomfort zone.

And this is precisely why I have entered. The sense of achievement we can get simply from facing up to pressure and succeeding (here’s hoping anyway!), is immense.

Though there may be easier ways to do so than running up a huge hill.