Who am I if not a fellow human?

Last time I checked, I was self-pityingly diving into my pile of everyday bills , house mortgage and tuition fees for my children’s school, trying to meet with the social expectations, fearing the consequences if I didn’t.

It was quite some time ago when a woman approached me. In her meager clothing and inadequate for the cold weather shoes she asked me if I was willing to donate some money “to give alms and help support their cause”. Well, they should look like that, shouldn’t they? A part of a smartly- contrived scheme where well coached people will persuade you into the justice of their cause. And yet…something in her subtle demeanor and submissive manners indicated that she wasn’t some kind of predator.

“Are you from around?”  I asked. It turned out she was. Following her husband’s death she found herself in a position where making ends meet under a roof and with a full belly wasn’t the case. She and her children were evicted from their house due to her husband’s debts and took refuge under the main bridge alongside the other destitute. They spent some months out there and had it not been for the local charitable foundations she would still be trying to make a living out of leftovers. A piece of chalk she kept, a haunting reminder of her boy’s attempt “to put a roof” over their carton box house. Needless to say, I was moved. Not just by her story but also by the thought that if a widowed mother of two can be callously forced into living like that in this civilized part of the world, what transpires elsewhere?

So, I started donating. And it felt good. It was this fulfilling sense of self-cheering, self-identifying as a fellow being part of something bigger. Bigger than my affordable struggle of settling everything up, bigger than the falsely reassuring thought that someone else is taking care of the needing ones, bigger than donating itself.

Finding the way is not always easy, since making time has become even more difficult than raising the money. But there are ways we can help comfortably and easily and without even parting with any extra money. Go online and shop via YouBeHero

Part of what you pay goes straight into charitable work, leaving you with the battle cry against ignorance, indifference and tolerance. A champion, of these feverish, gaunt eyes staring back at you.

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