Where is it? What is it? The humanity I know and believe in exists in a diluted form. I feel that we have become so desensitized that it has, to a certain extent, affected our humanity and our interaction with one another. War, famine, crime and poverty are something that we are now accustomed to. We see it in our cities and in the news on a global scale. We have taken these negative concepts and made them into movies for entertainment and I do believe that to some degree it has desensitized our society. This mixed with our current fast paced lifestyle where we want things done yesterday and we want to see results instantaneously, has left us impatient and uncompassionate.
Lately I have heard quite a few people complain about the begging and informal trading that happens at robots in our cities and suburbs. Yes, I agree it can become a nuisance and some of these hawkers and beggars do try their luck. And yes I do believe that government, to a large degree are responsible for taking care of these people. It is basic humanity that a government looks after its people, right? Right. But what about us as an individual? Are we also not responsible for our fellow human being? I understand that over-population and poverty are both at an all time high. It is impossible to help everyone. I’m not saying help everyone, but the way in which you interact with others has a greater effect than you may think. Intention says a lot.
The next time you find yourself getting impatient at someone who is asking for help, put yourself in their shoes. If they had a choice I doubt they would want to be standing at a robot begging you for your spare change. Whatever the choices they made in life, whether good or bad, they made those choices and now they are living their consequences, just like you have made choices. No doubt you have also made some bad decisions? Begging is the easiest way they found of making some money or getting food. Have a little compassion and treat and speak to them as an equal. No one is better than another, and if you think differently, how arrogant are you?
A lot of us brush these humble people aside and thus we create social outcasts. We don’t like them getting in our way, because they annoy us. Where has the humanity gone? Why do we find their misfortune irritating and annoying? Are we too much up our own arse to have a sliver of compassion for someone less fortunate than ourselves? Are we so impatient and uptight that we cannot even afford courtesy? Shame on us. Shame on us for expecting government, “leaders” and charities to deal with the people who society has labeled a pariah. And why? Because they have very little material wealth? Society has failed them. But who is society? I’m sorry to say that WE are society. We are responsible. If we treat the people around us we call society with respect, compassion and kindness, this world will be a better place.
Thought and emotion will eventually be released into a physical action. Have the self-awareness and self-control to command your feelings, thoughts and emotions into a positive physical action. For every action there is a reaction. The way you interact with another, ultimately affects them. The way you treat them will either make them feel good or bad. Why make someone else feel bad? Be a leader yourself and make this place we are living in a better place instead of bitching and complaining because it doesn’t suit our materialistic, fast-paced lifestyle. Instead of always relying on authorities to serve us, we should be serving each other. Be a leader and stop being another lazy sheeple.
If you are familiar with the Claremont/Rondebosch/Newlands area, you may notice the man in the photographs. I have lived in Claremont my whole life and I have seen this man for at least 15 years walking from place to place. If you have seen him you will notice he talks to himself, but should you engage in conversation with him he is not “insane” by any means. In all those years I have not seen him ask or beg for anything. He just walks. I’ve seen him with shoes the one day and barefoot the next, but still I never see him beg. He is always grateful for anything he is given and has always been polite. I think its beyond a lot of people that he can still smile and seem happy, despite his situation. He doesn’t have the luxuries many of us have, yet ironically he is free from the vices we have become dependent on. He has no debt, no cell phone. His life is a life of survival. Is that the price of freedom? What is freedom to you? I think you will find the more you think about the more you will discover that freedom is subjective. Is freedom fact? Or is it just an idea? I let you decide…