Cold comfort city?

You don’t have to spend more than a few minutes on the streets or public transport of the German capital to come up against someone in need. Be they homeless, disoriented, crooked or hurting, one thing a city of Berlin’s size, popularity and trajectory serves up with aplomb is a diversity of fates.

Immersed, as we so often are, in the ado and to-do of our own lives, the response to the sight of those publicly in need often seems to be to turn a resolutely blind eye. I’ve been guilty of that. But more often than not, I do stop to give, to offer a helping hand, a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.

And I see others doing it too. Not everyone always, but frequently enough to make me think this is a city that for all its reputation as place where gruffness trumps friendliness, is also somewhere that people know how to rally. Read on or listen.

Category: Writing

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