Thursday, 16 July 2009

The face of Cape Town people

Over the last week I have been privileged to meet a wide range of people from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. Their stories of growing up in Cape Town have had a profound effect on me. Most of them just get on with life and are not bitter about any negative things that happened to them in the past. There are lessons to be learnt from this.

Earlier in the week we gave out food in a squatter camp. My heart went out to the children and the difficult conditions that they live in. Many of them in the camp we visited do not go to school, have no books or toys, no electricity and no sanitation. There is much to be done. Yet relationships are key, just as anywhere. You can see a wonderful example of this in the photo below. The family we gave the food to immediately started cutting it up and sharing it with others in the community. They had an abundance mentality and considered others as well as themselves.

These people had little, but they worked together. In another part of the camp it was all in for self. Two different reactions. This is no different from what I think might happen in my own community. There are some people that are willing to share and others who consider only themselves. This is the same (if not more so) for the wealthy in this world. All I can do is reflect on what I can do to help others and realise that I am not able to make a difference to many people. However, if I let this be a barrier, nothing changes. One small ripple can have profound effects, even if it is only in the lives of one or two people. What can I do to get to the root cause, to help people at a significant level? I have few answers. South Africa is teaching me many things and giving me many lessons in life. I treasure the opportunity and value the many extraordinary people I am meeting from many walks of life.

1 comment:

Kim said...

As always, you inspire me. I can't even imagine what you are experiencing, and the effect it will have on you now and in the future. We get so used to the images of what you are describing through the media, but the reality of it must be truly an incredibly moving experience.