a mate of mine from germany came over for dinner the other day. we ended up chatting about poverty in cape town and people begging etc. how hard it is to cope without becoming hardened to other people's plight. it made me think about our situation in south africa. there is such overwhelming need and its scary to think we might have become immune to so much of it. we are so privelaged to have opportunities every day to be a blessing to people and help them practically, yet this needs to be done wisely.
these 4 things are items that i try and do. i feel they are sustainable and they certainly help keep one compassionate:
1) always be friendly: at the robots, along the street...greet, smile, ask the person how they are doing. always wish them a wonderful day.just because you wont give them money doesnt allow for rudeness.
2)fruit: i have it in my bag most days. i never give people money when they beg. but i often offer them my fruit.
3) help those who dont ask: there are countless people in need of help who pass you by everyday. people who are not begging, just going about their buisness. bless them. buy the security guard a coffee when its raining, offer the elderly lady a lift, make breakfast for the people who sleep in the park.
4) be involved in something sustainable. there are so many organisations that exist to help people: straatwerk, soup kitchens, orphanages, night shelters. volunteer, support, know where these places are-how they operate and get involved.
so come on. lets get to it :)