When you are cold, lonely, mentally, and physically diminished and #homeless, you find new #currency – it is not #money. I learned this 50 years ago and it is the greatest life-lesson of all. A smile, some eye-contact, a few enquiring words, or the gift of a sandwich made a bigger impact on me than anything I have experienced since.

Those small acts are etched in my memory, while much of what has happened since is forgotten.

The lesson is this.

What is of no value to you, can be a life-changer to another. One person’s loose change is a million pounds to someone else.

When I speak to an audience, I talk of my experiences of this, and these stories blow people away. The power we possess to make huge impacts on others is inestimable. It stays with them always.

To illustrate. I have eaten in some of the finest #restaurants in the world, but my best meal ever was a bag of fish and chips given to me by a passing stranger in #LeicesterSquare in #1967. I can still taste it, savour it, and experience the feeling of unutterable joy it left me with.

When you’ve been there, you understand.

That’s why each day, I purposefully go out to make at least one person’s day.

To have the opportunity to do that for large audiences is a privilege beyond measure. I see not a crowd, but individuals. I speak to those individuals and they hear me speak to them uniquely.

I am so glad I learned that skill when the chips were down.

We are richer than we know.