The Homeless Who Stood Out

Can you be different and make a difference?

The city of Berlin has many homeless people. I don’t know their stories or their backgrounds. I just notice them when riding the commuter rail (S-Bahn). They are playing some silly music, sell a magazine for homeless people or just beg for money.

They apologize for taking our time, speak in a timid voice or simply play a few tunes on their instrument. They usually don’t receive anything.

However, during my first three years of living in Berlin I have met two people who really stood out. I noticed them as soon as they got on the train. I gave them money, as did many other passengers on the train.

What did they do? Actually, it was similar to what others did before. One was playing guitar, and the other was just begging. But they were different. The first one played the guitar really well and played in total three songs before starting to collect money. In that time, some people got off the train, others entered. He may have lost the chance to ask the leaving people for money, but he didn’t care. The other one entered the train with pride, was extremely self-confident and did not apologize when he asked in a sincere and confident voice for money.

Sometimes, we don’t need to do different things from other people. We just need to do the same thing differently.