Work in Progress
Please be patient
On Saturday 11th June 2016, the morning after my burglary, still shaken not quite sure which was is West, I walked to the nearest shop to purchase a sim card for the phone a friend lent to me.
It was a crystal clear, warm winters day. Made a brisk walk welcome and a clearing of cobwebs after the night before a necessity.
On my return the pathway across the road was occupied by 6 youngish men. Being a white female in a rather dangerous world where black people are angry at us white people and after the previous nights antics, I was momentarily imprisoned by fear.
Stopped dead in my tracks for a few seconds until it dawned on me that none of those men were the burglar. None of them knew anything about it. And if they did, or are ‘the one’ then he will know I don’t recognise him and he won’t come back.
So with determination I strode across the road and purposely walked between the men who split up to let me pass then fell back. Except for the man at the front. So him and I walked in step chatting. I asked ‘have you all been working?’ (it was just after 1pm on a Saturday – finishing time)
‘No, madam,’ he said ‘we were at the robot, looking for work’
‘Shew,’ I breathed with the weight of that statement ‘ so… all of you’ I waved behind us including the guys following us ‘have been to look for work and none of you got work today?’
‘No, none of us had work’ the silence despite the traffic noise was gut wrenching as he sighed despondently then said ‘I was told, ‘get matric so you can get a job’, well I have matric, we all have matric and no jobs. We have to go to the robot to see for building work or work we can’t do but every day we come home with nothing.’
My heart ached for this man and his friends. Along with the millions of others feeling that over riding sense of hopelessness. Thinking of my own situation didn’t help. Hopelessness meets hopelessness.
In that moment I was completely enveloped by the collective emotions of us all that I said
‘Well, my friend, if it means anything to you, I am a 44 year old white lady with lots of privilege but no money, no job, no car and last night I was burgled losing my laptop and my phone. I have no insurance so can’t replace it. No way of earning money either’
He gasped several times during my confession. Shaking his head at the ‘other sides’ plights being so similar to his own.
‘But… I have had privilege of education and experience. I have enough knowledge to start businesses and help employ people. I have no money. I don’t know how or when, but I am going to find a way to make this stop. To create jobs for everyone, no matter what you do or where you come from. I can’t see all of us [waving behind me again] carrying on like this. It has to stop.’
The man walking in stride along side me said ‘Thank you so much, madam. We will all be very grateful’ .
Not Madam, I reminded him. Bonnie. Remember me, I’ll be back. I don’t know when… but I will.
And with that I left to take up my path toward the house where it all began.
As I strode purposefully with a confidence I wasn’t sure my shaking legs agreed with, I asked myself out loud how in hell was I going to help those guys when I cannot even help myself. My mothers words rang through me and, frankly, gave me shivers, ‘charity begins at home, take care of yourself first’.
I think that was the moment when I was certain that my life was going to be driven along a path (and already was) that I have no choice in, really… well, I do… but that’s another story.
The #Pi bug bit. One of my 7 priority focus’ is Poverty Alleviation. I decided to begin learning. Everything.
From how it starts to who is helping ?
and who pretends to be helping?
Where are the major pitfalls of all the projects?
What can be done to help?
Where are the gaps in making poverty alleviation sustainable?
… and what can be done to fill those gaps, quickly.
With a constant and overwhelming sense of responsibility for the 24,000 people that died of poverty yesterday and will, again, die today. The 24,000 people that have died every day since I started this… a year ago. Todays date: 06 Aug 2016.
I feel ill.
But I also feel satisfied that, despite my obstacles, I have successfully read, researched, seen, been involved in, connected with, learned and met with sufficient ‘evidence’ to fully understand What Poverty Is.
And because it’s taken me around the country, I’ve also got to understand what we all most want as a collective group of humans all living in a space.
A space that is on loan to us whilst we are here. Much like house-sitting. Being paid to live in luxury with the responsibility of caring for their property, animals and plants the way in which they wish you to.
As humans we’ve become so egotistical as to not even class ourselves as a part of the natural order of things. We somehow believe we are above all of it. Not realising that the direct impact even that thought has on the peace and harmony on earth can become quite severe.
Neglect of ourselves and one another as a species is the first area of society that desperately needs healing. Our sense of community has been lost through many factors, money being the most malignant of all.