There is too much negativity around nowadays, don’t you think? If so, you’re not alone: Luke Howarth agrees with you.
And who is Luke Howarth? I know, I was stumped at first too, but apparently, he is Australia’s Federal Assistant Housing Minister, and in this capacity, he is sick of all the negativity he sees. Specifically, he is sick of the negativity around figures that show more than 116,000 Australians are currently homeless. Howarth is sick of people being down in the dumps about that fact, and so he would like – in his own words – to “put a positive spin” on it.
And why not, indeed? We could all do with a bit more positivity in our lives, so why not start with looking on the bright side of homelessness? For example, if you are not one of the more than 116,000 Australians who are currently homeless: well, that’s good, isn’t it? That should let you go about your day with a warm inner glow. So there’s one positive spin on homelessness we can manage: I, personally, am not homeless. I’m feeling better already!
But obviously, even non-homeless people do have to confront the issues of homelessness. As Howarth himself went on to say, Australians “see people on the street – they want something done about that”. And it’s true, it’s never nice to see people on the street, cluttering up our nice footpaths and blocking the view of our beautiful shiny shops. Nobody likes going out to engage in a bit of commerce only to be reminded that homeless people exist.
So let’s, as the man appointed to fix the problem says, put a positive spin on those people on the street. Let’s not see them as “homeless people” or “vagrants” or “fellow human beings on the brink of death from exposure and starvation”: instead, let’s position the homeless as a particularly innovative form of public art installation. If, when we come across a homeless on the street, we stop thinking, “ew, a homeless!” and start thinking, “wow, culture!” we are well on the way to feeling better about ourselves – I mean, about homelessness.
There are loads of ways we can similarly put a positive spin on homelessness. Have you considered, for example, how much money you spend every year on electricity? Did you know homeless people don’t have to pay for electricity at all? Homelessness doesn’t sound so bad now, does it? There are definite perks to the lifestyle. Insurance, for example. Premiums are skyrocketing and insuring your home and contents has never been more expensive. But if you’re homeless, guess what? That’s right: no home, no contents, no worries! Think of the peace of mind that must engender. All in all, it’s a wonder more people aren’t homeless: it sounds like a dream.
You can see how easy it is to put a positive spin on homelessness. In fact, it’s so easy that the main danger is that if we put TOO positive a spin on it, we’ll all become so jealous of homeless people that the spin turns negative again. And that would undo all Luke Howarth’s hard work in making us relaxed and comfortable about our homeless brothers and sisters.
So next time you see a homeless person sleeping rough, or begging for change, or, you know, dying or whatever: don’t get all negative about it. Just remember that homelessness is art, homeless people save literally thousands of dollars a year on utilities, and Australia didn’t get where it is today by failing to accentuate the positive.