So, I received a few negative comments with regard to my "let them eat cake" post and I felt like I want to clarify a few points.
I'm not really one to encourage begging as a sustainable solution and I know that desperate people can be inclined to flock to spaces where they can get a quick hand out, especially in a place where there are loads of tourists. I am not ignorant of the fact that this can have many negative consequences including the increase of crime in an area.
My intention yesterday in sitting with people was not to give them a quick hand out that would encourage begging and crime. Yes, I did share some brown bread and apples, but it was more about the conversations that were had whilst sitting on the pavements, than the food.
Many of these people, I learned, came from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds riddled by such horrible complications such as extreme poverty, domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, little or no access to meaningful education and so the list goes on. This is not okay and all I wanted to do was look them in the eyes, acknowledge that it isn't okay and tell them that regardless of what they have been through - they are all still "Perfect by Design."
I have been working in townships for over 20 years, usually under the radar and I don't do what I do because I want to look good or get the proverbial pat on the back. I do it because I can't pretend that inequality does not exist and I can't pretend that there aren't hurting people - when clearly there are.
I've always been deeply sensitive to the reality that we are all one and if a part of us is in distress then the entire being is compromised. I have experienced terrible pain and loss in my own life and if there is something that I can do to alleviate someone else's suffering then by all means sign me up. I share these thoughts with you to remind you of your own ability to offer love, hope and compassion. Not so that I might seem like some sort of Saint. We are all healers and able to chose kindness in our daily actions. Now, more than ever before the world needs encouragement and care over rejection and judgement.