There is always someone who has less than you

While some enjoy the cold, there are others who are forced to endure it and for them, there is no escape.

Because there are so many desperate people in Joburg, many have become desensitised and lack empathy for those who have less. We stop at major intersections and look the other way when someone approaches our car asking for help.

We walk past the person standing at the entrance to the supermarket saying, ‘sorry, I have nothing’, knowing full well that our nothing is more than their something.

We lock our cars to go for dinner and tell the car guard ‘thank you’ before walking away to our nice cozy restaurant, where we will probably spend more money than he has earned the entire night.

The point of this column is not to make you feel guilty for having, but rather to make you aware that there are those who don’t.

While we can’t help everyone we come across, everyone can be human and treat others as humans. Just because you are inside a car and they are outside, does not make them deserve any less respect from you.

It is cold and yet most of the people I have encountered over the last few weeks still find the energy to smile as I pass them at the robots. Some even tell me to have a nice day.

My wish, if I ever have the luxury of having some sort of influence on North Eastern Tribune readers, is to ask you to remember those who are struggling this winter.

If you have spare blankets, donate them; if you are willing and able to support someone – be it through an official organisation or simply by giving a larger than usual tip to a car guard or waiter – do it.

And if you are unable to do that, acknowledging their humanness by simply smiling and saying hello, is a start.

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