My preoccupation today is the the blind beggars I see on my way to work every morning. Not that this sight is new to us. But no matter how many times we see the same thing, one day something new strikes us.
So, this blind young man was on the side of the street, doing stuff while the young girl leading him around stood by, patiently waiting. Further away, yet a few others jostled each other, trying to get their own share of what someone in one of the cars in traffic was offering. And then it struck me: these young (mostly girls) children are stuck! They have no life of their own. They cannot go to school or do anything for themselves, they have to lead their blind family around every day, begging for alms. And I cannot even imagine what kind of life that is.
How do we solve this problem? How can we get these children into school if their primary responsibility is to lead their fathers, brothers, (husbands??) around daily, just so they can make a living? The State does have a genuine desire to help sometimes but let us not forget our knack of not thinking a problem through before we jump in headlong with short-term solutions. Like get them off the streets, simply because the sight of them on said streets does not augur well for the city, that part of town, or because we see them as constituting a nuisance in that Estate (I have seen Estate officials take them off the streets in the past. They put them in their pickups, and take them God-knows-where). And so we dive like a charging bull into the fray, causing more harm than good. And because there is no well thought-out and long-term solution to rehabilitating them fully, they are back on the streets in no time, then the initial problem becomes a hot potato. What a vicious circle.
Again, how do we help these children get off the streets and into school if we do not, in the first instance, take care of the reason why they are there in the first place?
The small change we give them daily can only do so much – actually, I am sure it barely supports them. So much trouble in the world. How do we do this?
Be free oh.