Day 5: A song that reminds you of someone #30dsc

30 day challenge day  5: A song that reminds you of someone

Warrior Soul—The Losers

This song reminds me of not just one person but a whole community of people. It reminds me of when I worked with the Shaftesbury Society amongst young homeless people between 1995-1997; not just the homeless folks themselves but the staff too.

Here are the lyrics up to and including the first chorus:

Have you ever wanted
To be someone you’re not
But you look into the world
And you see what you’ve got

There’s nothin’ there
But brains and guts
Finally open the door
And then it shuts

Look to the centre
And I’ll think you’ll find
The people that are gettin’
They are blind

You changed the channel
And there’s nothin’ there
You weren’t born pretty
And it isn’t fair…

Here’s to the losers
The substance abusers
To the rejects
All the imperfects

‘Cause I think we’re beautiful
‘Cause I think we’re beautiful
‘Cause I think we’re beautiful
No matter what anyone says
I think we’re beautiful
The most beautiful in the world

I worked with and alongside so many beautiful people in London. Some died in the struggle (Rebecca and Jake); some ended up in prison; others have gone on to build a more stable life for themselves; many more I’ve lost touch with or whose names I’ve forgotten, but of whom I think frequently.

The paths of our lives crossed for a very short time, but I know for sure that my life was enriched by knowing them (staff and residents alike). They taught me a lot about what’s important in life, they taught me a lot about myself. I laughed and cried with them, they told me about their lives and shared my story with them.

For a good number of staff members that very intense work broke them (emotionally, physically, mentally)—including myself. I remember a particularly uncomfortable 21 days of violence in the hostel I worked in in Bermondsey. I remember a night shift where we had six police officers responding to three separate incidents, and then a fourth incident kicked off while they were still in the building.

Some of us bounced back after a week off of R’n’R. For others it’s been a longer road back to recovery.

But you know, no matter what anyone says: I think we’re beautiful, the most beautiful in the world. And I think that Jesus would tend to agree.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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