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Alcoholics in Stratford

So my recent encounter with social issues happened close to home.

An older man approached me and my friends, he wasn’t old old but old enough to rise supision from other people.

I saw this as an opportunity to find out about him.

The first typical thing we all tend to do is JUDGE and stereotype. This man was carrying a bag of alcohol, a can in his hand and a rather large swollen stomach. His clothes were dirty and he looked like he was struggling to talk everytime he took a breath.

Should we walk away? Or should we hear what these people have to say?

My instinct is to always walk away.

But something was different about this man. He was keeping a distance, he wasn’t making us feel uncomfortable.

I decided this was an opportunity to test out my journalistic skills.

I asked him a few questions thought up on the spot. There were many questions running through my head. Why was he talking to us? Does he have a family? Was he homeless? what was his life like before?

I asked:

  1. What is your name?- Maurice
  2. How old are you?- you tell me he replied (i would say early 50′s)
  3. Family?- no never bothered with a wife or anything, my dad was part of the building trade
  4. Kids?- no not that I know of, may be a possibility though
  5. Career?- CIA he said something to do with American spying
  6. Local?- Yes, but my neighbours feel uncomfortable around me, they don’t want to know me

The man proved to be drunk and unaware of his answers, I don’t believe any of them are true. But then again he may be an alcoholic which is what we are assuming as that’s what humans do, or was this a man who was desperate just to be liked?

I think it was loneliness, which is a factor of drinking, tearing yourself away from your family

Overall the quick ten minutes I spent with him were very interesting. It’s amazing how much you can learn about someone just from a quick chat.

You have to be ready for these opportunities, as soon as this man approached I knew it would be a good idea to think of questions and try and snap a few photos.

Yes you should never approach strangers, always be cautious of people who carry drink, but this man wasn’t threatening in anyway, and as humans I think we need to start respecting people more and listening to what they have to say before making assumptions.

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