Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Opposites

A new year has arrived.  For many it has been full of hopes and desires; to improve oneself, one's life or the world in which one lives.
It is dark.  I take a walk through the streets of this city that is so close to me and yet so far away from my today's life and worldviews.  The lights in the houses and tiny apartments have been turned on already.  I continue walking and cannot stop looking through the windows and into people's houses and people's lives.  To my astonishment I see grandiose mansions full of riches side by side with apartment blocks filled with tiny apartments.  The mansions are spacious, bright, full of luxuries. Many maids and helpers are running around and try to make one's life better... to fulfill any desire.  The apartments are in dire need of renovations.  Some haven't seen such a thing for decades +40 years of poverty and oldness is no news there.  The ceilings are yellow from time. Wallpaper is so dry that it falls from the walls.  An old lady tries to cook some food in the small kitchen.  She tries to fantasize and make dinner out of water, a few potatoes and bread... That's all they have till the end of the month.  There are still 3 weeks left till the end of the month.

I continue walking and cannot grasp how such world of opposites can coexist side by side.  As I walk I see an old man.  He is cleanly dressed.  He looks into a garbage bin. He gets embarrassed when he notices that I saw him.  He tries to explain why he acts as he does.  He used to be an engineer.  Now, his pension is not enough for him to survive.  He has to look for food somewhere as with his pension he can only ensure a shelter for himself and his daughter.

I go on.  As I walk on the side-street, a huge SUV blocks my way.  The driver blocks the sidewalk, leaves the car there and goes somewhere.  I cannot get on the other side of the sidewalk unless I step into the dirt.  I understand - for them the ones who don't have (or look like don't have) a car are losers, the poor ones, worth nothing, no respect is needed to be shown there.  My shoes get wet and dirty.  I go on...

As we try to build our perfect little worlds at home, the world of opposites thrives.  As the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer.  If we don't stop and try to reach out and help those who need it most nothing will ever change.

Anything can help - a piece of bread today, a few old clothes tomorrow, etc.  We can say If ONLY I help this will never change the world.  However, it will, for the one person in need.  We don't have to look far to find them.  We live side by side.

Will the world ever change?

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