Fear of the Unknown
The Wichita Kid from “The Gunfighter” by Alden Nowlan and a young man living on the streets of Calgary both demonstrate that we fear what we do not understand. Citizens need to personally comprehend someones situation before they can help or judge them directly. Homelessness and poverty are often hard situations to face considering how uncomfortable and awkward it can become. When Kevin O’Brien has a short conversation with Wichita he learns that he is unaware of reality and living his delusional life as a famous gunfighter. Confused and not understanding Wichita’s situation, Kevin tries to solve his own guilt by lending the young boy some spare change. Much like Kevin O’Brien when I encountered the young unfortunate man in Calgary my own heart ached, so I tossed him a couple of loonies and left. Although you feel major misery there is rarely anything you can do to support them without getting deeply involved.
Fear of the unknown is what prevents most citizens from reaching out and helping the less fortunate. It can be alarming before you learn to grasp the position these individuals are in. The young man living on the streets of Calgary was not dressed like the other civilians and was sitting in a corner looking gloomy. You could tell that he was not wealthy or very happy making him harder to approach. I had to build up a ton of courage to just walk by and drop some money beside him, much more would have been needed to start a conversation and ask how I could help. In “The Gunfighter” it seems like Kevin O’Brien has met the Wichita Kid more then once, which is different then in my own experiences. He has gotten to know Wichita on more of a personal level but still does not get himself too involved in his life. Kevin has a casual conversation, catching up on the latest news in Wichita's life then gives him some spare change and walks away unharmed to continue his own life. Advancing towards Wichita and engaging in a conversation...
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