To take people who are currently homeless, living on the streets, suffering in their current home situation, immigrants, the displaced, the addicted, those with ‘problems’ and give them a ‘higher purpose’ to develop resilience, self awareness, physical health, mental strength, and to help them see a bigger picture outside of themselves, by helping them develop empathy and compassion for others, by one simple activity – a long distance walkabout of the United Kingdom, self supported, with each member responsible for their kit, their home, (in this case a tent), and to help each other achieve this difficult but purposeful goal.
We apparently live in an advanced society in the United Kingdom, where no one should want for anything. There are dozens of government agencies, hundreds of charities, churches, do gooders, and philanthropists all working on ‘homelessness’ to tackle it’s root causes and eradicate it forever!
Yet in November 2023, there are hundreds of thousands of people without a permanent home, thousands living on the streets, addicition is rife, people are living in food and fuel poverty, inner cities have social housing more akin to prisons which have bred violence, despair, and hopelessness, in all age groups.
Government ministers want to tackle this problem urgently, by cleaning up the streets, stopping people putting up tents, and getting everyone settled in ‘permanent accommodation’.
In everyone’s view, the solution is to get people off the streets, get them the help they need, stop begging, and antisocial behaviour, and place people firmly between 4 walls, and help them reintegrate into society, get a job and pay their taxes – problem solved.
Yet, that doesn’t seem to be working, and in my view only puts a band aid on a problem which lies firmly in the human mind, only ‘solvable’ by giving people, not four walls, but a higher purpose, where they become resilient, and shift their perspective from desperation and ‘needs’ to help them evolve as human beings, not victims reliant on a benevolent state and the wider society, who see most people experiencing problems as a drain on the system.
They may help with a few pounds,normally it is begrudgingly, with the home secretary recently saying that people living in tents on the streets is often a ‘lifestyle choice’
Having gone through a period of homelessness for the past 5 months where I lived in a tent with my dog in absolute poverty, with the government cutting me off universal credit after 2 months as i could not attend my meetings and couldn’t update my online jounral (due to my mobile service provider cutting me off ) I understand that for people experiencing homelesness, without any wider physical or psychological problems) it can be a terrifying experience.
Fortunately I am a highly resilient person, and recognising that I was about to be homeless and have to live on the streets, picked up my backpack and tent and went walkabout, where I was greeted not as a vagrant, or hobo with a dog, but as a ‘long distance walker’ – a person with purpose, not someone hanging about on the street begging for a bit of food and some spare change to buy a can of extra strong lager.
It is my firm opinion that this project will give people the purpose they require in order to evolve, to problem solve for themselves and to assist others in the project do the same, without judgement or criticism.
THE BIG PICTURE
According to many websites collecting data on homelessness, there are tens of millions of people who are ‘homeless’ and millions more displaced, or living in temporary housing.
The causes are too numerous to list here, but may include war, domestic violence, unemployment, physical and mental health ‘issues’, drug and alcohol addiction, family breakdowns, amongst many other possible causes.
Whatever the root cause of people’s problems the fact remains that there are millions of people ‘suffering’ needlessly, and many hundreds of thousands of people working towards eradicating homelessness, and yet the so called ‘problem’ still exists.
Governments need to be able to control a population for safety, and security,and need people to conform and obey their laws, including things like the vagrancy act, which makes it illegal to be homeless in many countries, and people who are non-conformists, especially ‘the homeless’ are not only a burden on the welfare state, but a danger to the stability of the nation (they say).
When we remove thelabel ‘homeless’ from people, which only seeks to stigmatise them, and make people either distrust, hate, or feel sorry for them, and instead , relabel them as human beings, nothing more we create an opportunity to help people evolve past the stigmatism, not victims we can congratulate ourselves on having provided four walls for.
I can hear many people, especially those who work for ‘homeless charities’ and government, and non government agencies that this is a ridiculous idea, that what people want is a stable home, and from there they can get the help they need, and help to get a job etc etc, blah blah blah..
We’ve heard it all before haven’t we?
The problem is when you stigmatise people and see them as a problem in society, a problem that needs to be ‘fixed’, they themselves start to view themselves as just that.
Do I see myself as someone needing ‘fixed’? Would four walls make my life any better?
Would being given a house and the responsibility to pay bills, find and hold down a job, pay my taxes, make me a better person? Would it help me evolve as a human? No, but it would keep me quiet, and the government could cross off me as a ‘success story’ in their statistics, and mean they had one less person to pay every month.
Would it help people whove been exposed to extreme violence, starvation, or addiction? No , of course not.
“But there are many agencies who could help, we have a …”
In my personal view, those in power have created a highly divided society, between the have’s and the have nots, but remember it is very easy to go from a have to a have not, depending on circumstances in your life.
I went from running an ocean sailing team, and educating people, to living in a tent in under a few months,
‘More fool you’, say the people, ‘you should have had more cash in the bank and you would have been alright.’
But I am just using my own story to illuminate that people become homeless for many reasons, not all of them are due to addiction, or domestic violence, to use a couple of examples.
Every individual is unique, and each of them arrives at ‘homlesness’ in their own way, but they are not ‘victims’ nor people who need people to feel sorry for them, they are human beings who require a higher purpose, and someone to guide them and support them, whilst they develop their own purposeful life.
I am that guide.
In my personal view, there are too many people sitting in offices behind computers deciding what is right for others, including ‘the homeless’ or others requiring assistance. They work in nice offices, live in nice warm houses, eat 3 meals a day, and have a steady income. How are they able to empathise with people who are on the streets because their father sexually abused them, or their mother was a drunk?
Sure, some of them might have direct experience or training in some of these issues, but as we see from the numbers there are too many people with too many problems to help everybody, and as I found out, government agencies are overwhelmed and unable to directly help people, instead merely processing them…
The King of Englandś son, Prince William recently started a project to help ´the homeless´but how on earth is someone who has grown up in palaces, someone who has never wanted for anything, expect to be able to connect with people on the streets? And although he is welcome to join our great british walkabout, I’m sorry to say that whilst his intentions are good, he is the wrong man for the job, save to raise a few pounds, and make the great british public feel like ‘the issue’ is being ‘tackled’
As far as I am concerned, human beings aren’t ‘issues’ or ‘problems’ they are just human beings!
The aim of the Great british wakabout is to ‘remove the focus of ‘my problems’ and focus on the bigger picture, the world outside their own thoughts,to become more evolved human beings, who no longer see themselves `as victims, or see the ‘other’s ‘ as the have’s ad themselves as the ‘have not’s’.
As I found out early on in my journey into resilience, you cannot do everything alone, no matter how much you would like to, and it helps to have someone to guide you along the way, and as someone who has walked many thousands of miles across the world, I think I am in a good position to lead people.
I cannot promise to ‘cure’ people, or help them get a job, but as a practical philosopher, I can help them along a personal journey, and be on hand to offer support, and compassion where it is needed.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a weak do gooder hoping to save the unfortunates, I can only offer a way and help guide people along that way, and people who join will have to commit to do the work necessary to help make the great british walkabout a success for themsleves and everybody else.
Yes it will be difficult. Yes it will be challenging. But for everybody involved, it will help shift their thinking away from victim, or even perpetrator, and guide them towards a more resileint, conpassionate, evolved way of thinking that will benefit not only themselves but the wider society at large.
HISTORY OF WALKABOUTS
The word walkabout is defned as
1, A temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially between periods of work or residence in modern society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush.
2. A walking trip.
3. A public stroll taken by an important person, such as a monarch, among a group of people for greeting and conversation.
So we’ve got traditional people taking a rite of passage in the wildreness, and we’ve got royals srolling around waving to their subjects, but in the middle, there is us on a ‘walking trip’, no less or more important than a rite of passage, or a monarch on a stroll, but merely a walking trip – What we discover in ourselves along the way is up to us.
For hundreds of years people have embarked on religious pilgrimages, to shrines of great importance, but religion has no imporance to us here…
The act of walking (especially long sistance walking ) has long been seen as a way for people to process their thoughts, all the while doing something good for their body, it even became a sport, called ‘pedestrianism’ in the victorian era!
Throughout history, people have been walking, it’s what we do! No gyms, or personal trainers needed! We have walked to find food and water, walked to escape war, walked to find ourselves, walked to clear our heads…We are at heart, walkers!
But recently, thanks to the industrial revolution, and the creation of nations and borders, people have been stuck in one place, working to pay for a home, working to pay bills, working to feed their family, or even stealing or committing crimes to achieve the above.
Whatever we think of people, they are all striving to fulfil their basic needs, all the while controlled by a system that wants them to conform.
The great british wakabout and its international project, World Camino, aim to change that, and help people crete a new way forward. It’s good for the individual, the wider society, and even governments might like it as it takes the pressure off them a bit!
There is no fixed route, but I think it would be good to start from the very north of the UK and find our way south towards Westminster!
Not that we are asking the government for anything, but that is the seat of power in the UK, and they need to be aware of our project, and for people to stand up and say I am not a victim, I am a powerful creator in this world.
The philosophy of the Ariana Project is ‘No one left behind’ and we don’t plan to leave anyone behind, no matter how challenging it is to get them to gather themselves and embark on the walk of their lives.
I do not have a start date yyet, but it will start before December 2023, a time when most people are preparing for christmas, buying presents, and sharring time with loved ones.
We plan to share xmas with our participants in the great british walkabout, on the road…
Each participant will be provided with Winter Walking Gear, including a tent, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, warm clothing, waterproof jacket, trousers, and boots, and a stove to cook a basic meal on.
As I have discovered over my years of walking, that is all you need.
We are looking for companies to sponsor kit for our participants and individuals to sponsor food and drink and camping expenses.
If you can help please get in touch now or make a donation …
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