Repudiation of a Gentleman

People rarely stare. They just walk on. Occasionally there will be a purpose for haste but for the most part it is the denial of affirmation that a man will wander head high. If you stand straight, look ahead and walk with vigour then the gentleman may decide not to bother you. Although it is with optimism that I assume people even notice in the first place. Most have become so used to walking past the homeless gentleman perching on the side of the bank that little matters.

Shouldn’t it be disgusting that the wealth within the vaults of the bank could change this man’s life and bring him closer to something known as eudemonia? I suppose it doesn’t matter. We can slip our credit cards into the chip and pin device, drain our finances in order to step closer to our own personal eudemonia. Carry our bags past the spot where the homeless gentlemen sits, little knowing that the material weight should instead be a weight on our moral conscience.

Each man should use life to further ourselves but do we ever consider the gentleman to instead be a victim of the cards life dealt. He could have shot himself with smack, drank until he couldn’t stand or commit a deed upon another so vicious to render him without a home. Alternatively he could have lost his job, woken without a pay check and found himself without hope. Strange how those who don’t have a home must be broken in some way, whereas the gluttonous banker can live a life of affirmation, financial security and selfishness.

Days pass, weeks roll on and that homeless gentleman clenches his empty soup cup waiting for coins to find that next meal. Only a handful of people care but for the most part the gentleman’s gaze duly looks through a forest of different designer trousers and shoes.

The reason for this article?

That homeless gentleman from Cheltenham died.

The worst part?

At first I didn’t notice.

The soup cup is still there along with a single card of loving comments and a few flowers. Only a few people bother to look but most walk past as if the gentleman was still alive. That poor gentleman, the shameless public. The repudiation of a gentleman.     

6 Replies to “Repudiation of a Gentleman”

  1. Существует такая услуга – добровольное медицинское обслуживание (или ДМО).
    Она предполагает, что вы вносите небольшую сумму за то, что ходит на прием целый год не платя за каждый прием.
    Однако соцопросы показали, что лишь 3% жителей Санкт-Петербурга знают о такой услуге.
    Потому что клиникам выгоднее брать плату за каждый визит.
    А если честный врач попытается рассказать про добровольное медицинское обслуживание клиенту – это сулит ему увольнением.
    Информация о ДМО уже вызвала кучу скандалов, сразу после того как информацию об этом рассекретил один возмущенный врач.
    Его уволили “по собственному желанию”, после того, как он предложил ДМО постоянному клиенту.
    Самое ужасное, что официальные положения по ДМО есть в открытом доступе, просто находили на эту информацию единицы.
    Как отстоять свои права?
    О правилах оказания услуги и обязанностях клиник можно узнать, сделав запрос в Яндексе: “добровольное медицинское обслуживание”.
    И именно обслуживание, а не страхование.


  2. In response to Rob’s comment on the British “ignoring each other”, its so true. There was a TV programme on a few years ago, where they got an actor to look like he was passed out on the ground in a very busy street in London. It was several hours before anyone tried to help him, and a good several hundred had passed (and saw) him, easily.

    Not being a native to England, I think I can comment on this. People in my town (Larne) acknowledge each other, even if its a simple smile, nod or hello. And its not like my town is small x

  3. Just read the article… that actually sounds fairly berserk. Christ! If they’re found guilty I’m gonna be sick to my stomach that someone could even CONSIDER doing that.

    Nice that there’s a tribute, though. However small. I think the world’s a brighter place than you’re painting it. Even amongst a sea of strangers there are people who care enough to commemorate the guy. No, he didn’t get his head above the water, which is tragic, but at the same time, the odds were so against him. He managed 15 years in Cheltenham without a job or a house. Just as he can’t necessarily be blamed for his own homelessness, it takes a hell of a lot of money to keep a single person afloat; most people have their work cut out looking after themselves. Single mothers and idle dreamers, we’re all just muddling through life. Yes we treat ourselves but we’re idiots. I think it’s admirable that the people of Cheltenham were altruistic enough to keep a man alive for fifteen years, all the while sustaining themselves.

    Regardless of whoever may or may not have been directly responsible for his death, I think I actually have to completely disagree with you. This reflects so well on the people of Cheltenham. Viva la Chelt.

  4. I gave him £7 once while drunk. Just my tiny attempt to claw at the moral high ground. Might leave him a little tribute next I’m about.

    That said, keep in mind that our repudiation isn’t limited to the homeless – we ignore EVERYONE… we all go through our lives with our heads straight forward and our eyes on the horizon, looking past strangers as we get on with our own lives.

    The British are private. ‘Specially down south. We shouldn’t be, but we’re set to “ignore” by default. Then of course there’s the entire Kitty Genovese thing. It’s a quirk of humanity… but a sad one. Horrifying at times. I did frequently see people going up to the homeless fellow, though. The fact that he got a newspaper article dedicated to him and a tribute from complete strangers kinda demonstrates that in a strange way, when he became part of the scenery he also became a part of Cheltenham. Making him both more and less visible in the same stroke – which can’t be right. I’m rambling. Shut me up when I do this, seriously.

    R.I.P, that guy! Better place ‘n’ that, fingers crossed.

  5. Great blog as per usual Mike, as a frquent visitor to London, there are regular sightings of homeless. Unable to change anything, sadly they face rejection at even the first attempt to rise upwards through the ranks of social mobility. It is at this entry level where changes need to happen and then leave it down to the individuals themselves. We live in a capitalist society, how much better than that of communism is a question that need not even be asked? What needs to happen is a change of thought process. Let bankers, be bankers, they are beneficial to this economy, in a time we all need this to press them and be thankful to them in some repect.

    Chnage the basics at the bottom of the social mobility ladder and the rest will follow. My main problem is always on those who get dealt too much and work for nothing, just scrounging off the state.

    Ok, I hope I made a reasonable point, however I have just finished my last exam so very much in the essay writing mood trying to tick all the boxes of the mark scheme consisting of plight and sadness.

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