This happened the other week and I feel like sharing it with you.
I don’t know if there are more homeless people in Berlin than elsewhere, but to my friend Tasha* and I, who last Autumn were new to the city, it seemed like they were at every U-bahn stop, on every busy shopping street. We wanted to do something.
We chickened out due to our (mostly my) questionable German. We got involved in the homeless shoebox appeal at our church, but one to one just seemed too daunting.
We’re back in Germany now and the homeless are still here. I went to Steglitz one Saturday to buy some things, and along the whole street there were silent beggars kneeling on cardboard, hands outstretched, eyes averted. I saw one whose face was lowered so far to the ground it was like he wanted to disappear into it. Something broke inside me a little bit then.
I’ve written on a similar vein before, which likely indicates it’s where my heart is. I hope you’ll forgive any repetition from previous posts.
These two videos gave me some inspiration for this post:
They’re not too long- I really recommend giving them both a watch because it will give you a background to where I’m going with this.
The first highlights the damage done when the phrase ‘be a man’ gets twisted; the second urges men to step up, but it’s coming from a completely different worldview. And it might sound harsh, but I agree with him.
Among my generation particularly, I think there’s some confusion, about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.
We know there’s a problem, but I’m not convinced we get the whole picture. On one hand, we want to go back fifty years. We want men to act more like men and women to be more feminine, but in doing this we tend to only focus on the arbitrary and the superficial. On the other hand, we strive for gender equality, yet sometimes we think that means ironing out any distinction between the sexes.