And isn't that it, being brave and honest enough to see our own awkwardness, our stinginess, our acts of self protection? On one level, it's personal. Yes this is what I do, but on another level it is simply the human condition, because if I do it chances are you do too (I have seen you with the rusty moose). So this confession of awkwardness speaks to us.
And isn't the first act of doing something differently, to see with clarity what we do now, in this moment? Only then can we perhaps become a little kinder (even to ourselves) a little more patient, a little more forgiving. It's not like we're on some self improvement quest (10 steps to a nicer me! ) In fact that's not me with the moose. I am the prickly cactus in the background. Some days I am the one dimensional white headed woman, too tall to fit through the blue door?)
Self improvement accepts the fact that we want to strengthen that little self when in fact what we are aiming for is to loosen the grip of the little self, to not accept that modern day fairy tale that we are the centre of the universe. Can we imagine that the needs and wishes of that homeless person are as important as our own?
And why do we feel awkward when we meet homeless folks, anyway? (or any folks at all?) Are we faced with our own lack of control? Are we reminded that one day we will have to give up the comfort we cling to, our homes, our loved ones, our bodies? Do these folks remind us that we are not who we like to think we are? Are they the ghosts of groundlessness? Are they the opposite of order and perfection that our modern world is always selling us? Whiter teeth, trendier clothes, a better address, won't those settle that 'anxious quiver of being' (Ezra Bayda's term)? And perhaps they pose the question: where is our true home?