Sometimes for a bit of a laugh I’ll read the crime reports in the local newspaper. It’s an entertaining array of sullen-faced wastrels with bad hair, dope-skin and disappointed eyes.
I looked at one picture, of a homeless alcoholic who had hundreds of convictions for theft and misbehaviour. He had a collapsed face, with tattoos on his temple and face, and a missing eye that made his eyebrow droop almost to his lower lid.
I felt awful. This damaged man had been someone’s child. This person was born with hopes and enthusiasm and love, and he ended up as a feature in the crime section of the newspaper. And here was I, sneering. Feeling superior. This broken person’s broken soul had become my entertainment.
I decided not to do it again. Not to laugh at someone’s misfortune. Not to assume that everyone’s station is a result of their choices. Never to feel superior. Because, no matter what happens in our lives, we start equal and we finish equal.