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Last month I came across an article about a doctor in the US who dresses as a homeless person and goes out at night to offer free check-ups and treatments.
"Unless you've walked in someone else's shoes, you don't know what led them to have that life," is the first thing he says in the video below.
It reminded me of the first lines of The Great Gatsby:
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
I think about this a lot, because although I'm not rich, I have a job, a house and a nice family, and I feel so lucky because these are things not everyone has but I know they are easy to take for granted. I used to get so upset when I would walk by people living on the streets with nothing and no one but themselves, and I never did anything about it because I guess I didn't think I could. I couldn't afford to give money to every single person. Then I realized that if I didn't have money, I have lots of time to give. I am working with Beyond Food Foundation, which helps people get off the streets by training them to work as chefs, and also Hands On London, which coordinates volunteer opportunities throughout the city (volunteering in London is surprisingly hard!)
People like Dr. Jim Withers are incredibly inspiring. Here is the short video about his practice:
At first I thought perhaps there wouldn't be a similar issue in the UK because unlike in the US, everyone here has access to free, basic healthcare. Then I was looking into it and realized that it still is an issue in the UK, and there are clinics who work to help the homeless get the care they need.
I am interested to hear stories about what people in the BMA community are doing to help the less fortunate?