Scratchie\’s World

School Done!!! Other stuff in life to write about now….

Spirit of a People 12/09/2006

We often make efforts to publish the horrid things that happen around us and fail to realize that the Caribbean is still a very caring region despite the many shortfall which we may have. Last week i was reminded that we have responsibilities as a people for those around us whether they are family friend or nothing at all to us except being human beings.

There is a young lady who is employed to the same organization as myself. Quite often my co-workers and I go out to walk at the front of the building just to soak up some sun before returning to the air conditioned office. Now downtown Kingston is pepperred with homeless persons as well as mentally unstable persons. I figure because it is near to natural ammenities such as water and the tall buildings provide some shelter in the nights. Also because there are many offices there is also an ample supply of refuse.

Well, while we were standing in front of the building this other young lady who for the most part is a loner came past with a black scandal bag (a black plastic bag used to pack grocerys and anything else you care to carry). She when to the corner of the adjoining building where a homeless man seemes to be residing with a dog. I might add that the dog looked quite healthy for a street mutt. She stopped at the corner and opened the bag and shared some lunch scraps (I assume from the canteen) for the dog. The dog obviously knew her as he wagged his tail vigorously as she approached. She then turned to the old man and after a few words she handed him a lunch box. I mentioned it to one of the young ladies walking with me and she said she had seen the exchange some days earlier. Curiousity got the better of me and it would seem that this exchange is a routine ocurrence.

I have thought about it since then. It dawned on me that maybe we are not called to solve every problem our country faces but if we tackle each one, one at a time maybe we can make a dent. Miss B as I will call her, is not trying to feed all the poor and needy, just one with whom she has contact. Bearing in mind that we are all on limited budgets. We have not been granted any pay increases since 2003 but when you think about it this man may never have had a pay much less an increase.

I recalled in high school that a certain teacher would chastise us for not wanting to participate in visits to the national home for the destitute. He scuffed at us and tried to make us feel terrible about it. It nagged me for weeks after my visit that so many people in my homeland didn’t have somebody to call family or friend, the end result being that they ended up being the poorest of the poor. My grandfather in his day called the home the evidence of evil of society. I asked him why and he said that the reason those persons ended up there was because of the evil/sin of the society from which they came. He place no blame on the residents but rather on the society which allowed them to end up there. He chided that the residents all belonged to somebody and they for the most part had some legacy of family but that family chose the easy way out…discard them to the state. It took me a while to understand but the picture became clearer on a visit to another home some years later. Bags were thrown over the wall with food and clothing with the name of residents. I was told by the supervisor that these persons did indeed have family but rather than bear the burden of responsibility for elderly mothers and fathers they simply left them on the street or at the gate of the home and every now and again brought whatever food or clothes that stirred there conscience to leave…not even bothering to visit with a family member. Have we grown that callous.

Well Miss B has shown that there is some semblance of hope. She cares regularly for someone she doesn’t even know. She sees the need and addresses it in the way she can. My respect to her and for whatever motivates her to show the kindness that she does. One Love.      

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September 12, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 15 Comments