I’ve been buying The Big Issue on and off for a while and more recently have bought it twice from the vendor in Central Railway Pedestrian Tunnel who once welcomed me as a good-looking second-row forward. I’m still trying to work out if that was a compliment or otherwise.
The Big Issue is ‘an independent current affairs and entertainment magazine sold in towns and cities throughout Australia by people experiencing homelessness and/or long-term unemployment’. Vendors are full trained and make $2.50 from each magazine they sell.
Coincidentally I often walk past The Big Issue office on Regent St near Redfern on my way to work. On the other side of the street, a little terrace house is headquarters for the Rational Association of NSW which still sells back-copies of the no-longer published The Rationalist News. In a very quaint and 18th century manner, it seeks to debunk Jesus, among other things. I’ve not bought any copies of this publication.
I genuinely enjoy reading The Big Issue and have the added bonus of knowing I’ve contributed in a small way to someone who has done it tough but is doing what they can to make a go of life. And I don’t just mean selling The Big Issue. Usually the selling is accompanied by many conversations, jokes and smiles that come for free.
In the January 4-17 issue, on the Street Sheet page, Margaret, who sells The Big Issue in Melbourne, contributed these words:
‘Some things in life are uncertain, but several things I know for sure. The sun comes up every morning and sets every night. There are 24 hours in a day, and 60 minutes in and hour. Time and tide wait for no man. Every day wasted is a day lost forever. You only have once chance to fill a day and when that day is over it can never be repeated. It is lost to eternity. I know with total assurance that God in heaven is looking down on mankind with love, grace and mercy, and drawing people to himself. I know that Jesus Christ died on a cross and he was the once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of mankind, and he was raised from the grave three days later an as a result of this his followers are also raised from the dead and got to heaven when they die.’
Thanks Margaret, what more can I say.