Thursday, February 23

This Vicious Cycle

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. 

Tuesday, December 6

My 'Smile' Moments

This is one blog post that had more titles than the post itself. I just had to restrain and restrict myself to this simple one.

So, here we are at the end of yet another year, season and time. Almost at the end of the 365 days that began only yesterday. As sure as there are regrets and unfulfilled dreams, so are there moments which, no matter how small or how few and far in between that make us smile. I recall a few. One of them is my chime, the thought of which makes me smile secretly.

I had wanted a chime for the longest time and when I finally stumbled on one it had to have a teacup, no less. I mean, for someone who actually likes tea, it was the perfect thing. 
But on the day that we put it up, there was no breeze! I got really worked up because all I wanted was for it to immediately begin to chime! Back and forth the window I went, peeking through, and wondering if we had hung it right. Maybe they aren’t aligned such that the tiniest sound can come through? I wondered why tonight of all nights there was no breeze, gentle or otherwise. I wasn’t going to go to sleep that night without hearing that thing! But finally, I did. Gently, quietly, those pretty, slim, pink cylinders came together in the sweetest sound I have ever heard, and I smiled so hugely, and the thought that popped in my head was ‘that is the promised sound!’ That is exactly what the chime is meant to do. No matter what part of the house I am in, I can always hear that very pleasing twink twink however faint, and it never ceases to amaze me.

Finding those moments, making those sweet memories out of the small things and not necessarily waiting for the big ones, is important. And so, The Chime, which I have named The Sound of Promise, as well as my little Christmas tree, are a few of my favourite things. They automatically provoke a smile, and are a constant reminder that no matter what is going on, when the time is right…the time is right.

And just last night, I was remarking to someone that I hadn't heard that twink twink in a while, and right on cue....there it was. :-)

What are your ‘smile’ moments? If for some reasons you have none, create them and ….

…be free oh.

Photo Credit: Me.