Sympathize: At What Cost Though?
The first time I enrolled myself as a volunteer in an event to help the underprivileged children, I was thoroughly engulfed with euphoria. The mere thought that I would be actually donating my services for an entire day to bring warm smiles on their faces made me anticipate for this gathering even more. On the day of the event, my happiness knew no bounds.
Words cannot express how vibrant I felt to be a part of their life; play with the, laugh with them, eat with them, take care of them, basically spend quality time with them. Amidst that jovial mood, I still remember how a young, transparent voice asked for an extra packet of ‘biriyani’ for her younger brother. The moment is still very much alive in my stable memory.
The beggars begging in the streets, mothers carrying their children on the lap and asking for alms, street children running behind you constantly in order to obtain the take away box for themselves which you actually packed for your family; these image and silent cry not only affects you mentally but also leaves behind a strong sense of sympathy embedded in your hearts. This is probably the point when you question your conscience, “how can I contribute to make the lives better for these destitute people?” or “am I that cold hearted to eat the chocolate flavored ice-cream when there is a small girl standing right in front of me hoping when will I be sympathetic enough to give it away to her?”
Poverty exists in every economy but the real struggle is how we act to combat poverty. No, it’s not only the task of the government to help eliminate poverty from then society; it is us, the general people who also have some responsibilities towards them. You might think, “Oh, I do give alms to people who ask for it” or “Sometimes I do give away my half-consumed food to the sweat-dripping, hungry rickshaw puller”; well yes, this way you are helping an individual satisfy their daily needs. However, in the bigger picture there is only a razor-thin change.
We need to acknowledge that poverty can only be solved if we address the grass root problems. It might seem as an extensive project but if we approach every drawback from the simplest grounds then the process lightens up. For example, try to get a needy child enrolled in a local school so that in the future he can find himself a job and can support his/her family as well. Now, this is just one example I sighted from the numerous other effective ways. The primary idea is to not think about how to assist one particular person rather consider helping out a complete poverty-stricken family or a community.
It was not a crime to be sympathetic but be sure to show sympathy to people who actually need it. Showing sympathy to a visually impaired person is better than providing alms to a beggar with one missing arm. Pardon my bluntly straight forward outlook to this sensitive issue but being compassionate to the right people and contributing resources in the right places will actually benefit the society and will gradually bring prosperity in the economy.