Wednesday 18th April 2012, Waterloo Station, London.
There seemed to be a disproportionate number of nurses on the south side of Westminster Bridge and we discovered that St. Thomas' hospital was close by. Nurses are good people, right? Perfect. We ended up having lunch in the cafeteria and I approached a nurse sitting by herself in the corner. I gave her my biggest smile, but she must have thought I was hitting on her because she politely declined and turned away to finish her lunch. Then I spotted a nurse filling out a lottery ticket - a custom built opportunity! - but she said that she was due back on the ward and had no time to chat. I left an invite, but I haven't heard back.
I was starting to feel despondent and in need of a pint to take stock. We cut across to Waterloo station where a bloke dressed as Po was collecting money for a children's cancer charity. My mate suggested that we stay and watch for a while. Perhaps I could reward someone that dropped a few pennies into Po's bucket? We watched for 15 minutes, but despite a cheerful and laid-back approach, Po was getting no love. I wandered over for a chat and asked his name. Uche told me that he was a volunteer and that the wet weather had a massive impact on how much he managed to collect. A few seconds later, I asked him to take part and he was ecstatic. He kept repeating, "Nothing like this ever happens to me." But it did and I reckon I was almost as elated as Uche/Po.
Questions & Answers
1. What have you decided to do with the money?
The first thing I did was to give to the charity that I was raising money for. Also a good friend of mine was facing eviction from his home, so I gave him money to get back on track. I bought my brother a birthday present and I got some clothes an trainers for myself because the ones I had were looking a bit battered.
2. What does 'good' mean to you?
To me, it means to feel compassion for people and whenever possible to help those less fortunate. Also to try and create a friendly, comfortable vibe as much as you can.
3. Is it important to get something back from the giving process?
I think if you don't get anything back it's easy to feel depressed and under appreciated, so yes it is important.
4. Did you feel lucky or responsible?
I felt very lucky at first. To be honest, I was in a state of shock but after I came down from that feeling, I knew that I must be responsible.