Kids that made me think
A few years back I was having a fancy meal in one of the finest restaurants in ABC city. While I was paying my bills, I saw few street kids selling balloons outside.
One of them was almost a toddler, barely walking but having fun with other kids. The security guy shooed them away. He was told to do so. Perhaps poverty degrades the charm of the restaurant.
I started wondering, what have I done to get so many privileges in life! I have all the comforts in the world, loving parents, access to good education, and most importantly money to buy all this. While these kids had to sell balloons to feed themselves instead of going to school.
I started getting consumed by guilt; and to get rid of it, I purchased ice cream for those kids. They literally snatched it from me as if I was going to run away with ice cream.
When I started walking towards my hotel, I turned around to see them enjoying the small treat. My ego got happy.
I walked a few paces with a beaming face, when I saw 2 more young children- they were siblings, a young boy, and his elder sister. They were selling some trinkets to perhaps buy some food. My ego which had gotten happier sometime back got crushed.
I started searching for some place to buy food for them- but then realised- what am I doing? Nothing but satisfying my ego. There will be more kids on the way and few more. This is just non ending. And then the conversation began.
X side of my mind: You can’t ignore them and walk away. You just splurged a big amount on some fancy dinner; can’t you help these kids?
Y side: Let’s say I feed them today, but what about tomorrow, and the day after, and after? This is not a permanent solution.
X: There is such a big divide in our society. It’s like 80% of the wealth is controlled by 20% of the population. And 80% of the population is poor. Don’t poke me for accurate numbers. I am just trying to give you a picture that a small portion of the society holds highest portion of the wealth. So technically if this wealthy class works towards bringing down the disparity, then everything will be sorted.
Y: Aren’t you being too idealistic? It is not as easy as it sounds. Why would people work for this class? You can’t expect everyone to be egalitarian. And there is nothing wrong in not having such approach.
X: Fair enough. But at least 'I' can start from somewhere. Isn’t there anything that I can do? Come on, don’t be so pessimistic. Give me some solution.
Y: See, my point is feeding street kids is not a permanent solution. If you seriously want to do something, then think long term. You need to make people independent. You need to make them capable of earning. Otherwise, they will get used to free favours and would never try to earn for themselves through right ways.
X: ok.. accepted. So, what next? I really want to do something. How can I change the world?
Y: Create employment, create jobs- whenever you get any opportunity to influence a decision, make sure you consider this part of the society. Also, empower those organizations which work for child welfare activities. Help those volunteers and workers who are working on the grass root level. Incentivise them. Make sure that they are well equipped and well paid.
You want to change the world, but it seems little overwhelming at the moment. Don’t worry about it, world will change on its own. But if you change one life, If you change one thought, if you create one opportunity, then its effect would ripple further.
Even if you could create some difference in life of just one person, then that would be a big game changer.
X: Wow, you speak with so much clarity. I so admire you for that. May God bless you and give you all the strength.
Y: I don’t believe in God..! You know that.
And the conversation ended there. With a content heart and clarity of thoughts, I left that corner of the street and once again turned around to see those 2 siblings enjoying the pastry that I got for them. I smiled again and started thinking on the plan of action.