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October 05, 2006



Hi torn, One time I was having a bad day and I bought a copy of the Big Issue from a vendor at the university, he told me to smile and have a good day. A homeless person asking me to cheer up sort of put things in perspective.

I'm still stuggling to digest the reality of poverty in 'rich' countries like the UK. And the prevalence of depression. Why are people so sad?


Great stories. Thank you for posting them.


There was a similar program in NYC.

Quite astounding to know that there are those living in extreme dire conditions in such prosperous a country.


Living in Brighton in the early 90s, I was a regular buyer of The Big Issue from the earnest folks selling them on street corners. Buying it was also a chance at casual conversation about living on the streets, surviving drug or alcohol addiction, and trying to set things right.


Good that "The Big Issue" is giving those people some hope!

Blameless Caterpillar

I'm not really familiar with The Big Issue, but I do remember Phil Ochs. Eric Andersen has a real nice rendition of When I'm Gone on his fairly recent Memories of the Future album. Andersen understudied Ochs as a folkie in the early days of the Beatles era.


There are big issue sellers here in Australia as well but nobody buys from them. I think its because homeless people are smelly (or have an image of being smelly) and people don't want to get a whiff of their stink.


This is great. I was just talking to some of the people selling The Big Issue in the streets of Edinburgh the other day.


In response to Carla who asked 'why are people so sad?':

I think people are so sad because they are constantly working. They have abandoned any dreams they had of enjoying themselves for increasing their pay packet and their bank account but instead tend to increase their debt by spending beyond their means to compete with their neighbours. They are subject to advertising everyday that subconsciously tells them they are currently not good looking/funny/smart/sexy/slim/healthy/cool enough (unless they buy this product) and they do not spend much time with family.
Evenings are spent watching television and drinking is seen as essential for relaxation causing many people to become borderline alcoholics.
Apart from their parents, most people do not help anyone. Even themselves. They have poor diets due to always being in such a rush and do not give themselves time for exercise or any kind of spirituality whether it be religion or just simply listening to how they are feeling. Most people are miserable unless drunk. It's sad but true.

To find out more read a book called 'Affluenza' by J.De Graaf.

Even worse, I think that the Philippines will eventually become the same.

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