“The way the world looks don’t have a thing to do with what’s going on with its people” -Gap Creek, 1999
Often we are lured to believe that the world is getting by fine because it sure looks that way. We start our mornings with a quick walk to Starbucks, buy what we think is an inexpensive venti cup of coffee, take our tablet out to check our emails, browse through our favorite online shops and decide to finally buy that Miu Miu dress that’s worth half a month of salary. An approximately 5-minute ride away from the coffee shop is a family of twelve sharing one pack of boiled noodles, drinking what looks like a cup of coffee except you can’t really tell because too much water has been added to it. You can almost hear the dad’s sighs outside their small shanty made of cardboard boxes and reused coco lumber. Their rent was due but he was mugged last night by some teenage robbers who smelled of alcohol. In his desperation he tried to fight back, it almost got him killed. Now he sat by the steps of the river right outside their house, he was trying to have some quiet time before the loan sharks came or before the landowner kicked them out. He was really tired and confused, he thought he should run away. Maybe if he did, the loan sharks wouldn’t bother his wife and kids. Maybe she can go back to her estranged mother if he left. Her mother never liked him. He’s decided. He’ll run. The morning after, police doing their early rounds found his body floating in the river.
Another sob story? Maybe, but I know him. In fact, we all know him. We met him at some point, not that we noticed. We’re often busy with our expensive smart phones, talking about our new house or window shopping or just admiring how amazingly advanced the world is. This days I often wonder if this is what the world has come to, caprice covers up human connections. We become too absorbed with what we have or we want to have that we don’t notice or choose to consciously ignore our brothers and sister who are asking us for a little push.
This is not to defend the incapability of others to cope but a recognition that sometimes despite all the gusto one has to succeed they just fail. In instances like these, we have to find in ourself the disposition to contribute to the progress of others. Find that lost human connection through those who are in most need of it.