A friend on facebook, recently posted something to the effect of ‘enough of the drama, can someone share something positive!‘ I know why Sonia posted that. It’s been another one of those weeks, where racism and our divide in South Africa, raised its ugly head.
So going through my Dropbox account, I was confused as to why I had a picture of this receipt.
When I saw the Black Cat Peanut Butter, it all came back to me. As I was parking at the mini mall, a tired looking man reached out to me from the street. Hands clasped together, and bending his knees to humble himself, he opened his mouth, and I could barely hear his words.
He asked if I had change to spare. I didn’t, unfortunately. I hardly ever carry cash on me, a convenient excuse. While at first feeling ambushed, that he asked me for money like that, I did find my inner soul which calmed my mind down.
If he doesn’t ask he doesn’t get, I told myself. I think it was more about my own guilt than about him, that I felt that initial sense of being violated. It feels like a lie to say I don’t have money, considering I am jumping out of a Mercedes Benz, and into a food retailer that is priced for the privileged in South Africa.
I was popping into Woolworths for one or two items. While walking along the aisles, the idea hit me. Just buy a loaf of bread, some peanut butter and we’re good to go! That I did, and I grabbed some plastic knives for him and I went from having no cash, to being able to help.
As I gave him the bread and peanut butter, he was grateful, and the thank you was so heartfelt. What moved me even more, was seeing how he did not keep it all for himself. He called on another fellow, also on the side of the street, looking for his luck to change.
As I drove off, looking at the two men sitting on the pavement, now in my rear view mirror, I realised how we want to help, yet do nothing because we define help as the gigantic Bill Gates like Foundation type of work.
Our little best efforts, make so much of a difference, so we really have to consciously do these random acts of kindness.