Last week, I went on a business trip to Turkey and was fortunate to have the opportunity to go do some touristy things in the city of Istanbul. I was blessed to witness the hustle and bustle of their Grand bazaar, experience the magnificent sunset, while cruising on the Bosphorus, stood infront of the extravagant Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Museum and of course not forgetting the mouth watering fine Turkesh cuisine.
While indulging in all of the fun and frolic, there was a part of me that failed to ignore the not so pretty! I frequently glimpsed upon a few decently dressed individuals who were rummaging through trash cans, trying to scavange on the disposed food from the nearby restaurants. I saw them trying to collect the food in a small plastic bag, it seemed like they were looking for the pieces that were decent enough to be consumed or taken back home to their families.
Now for a person like me, who comes from a land where poverty and destitution are no strangers. I have seen beggars and paper pickers, addicts and street dwellers and many more of the in between, but this was the first time I ever saw someone actually dig through the trash can for food. It was an overwhelming feeling seeing this first hand, this wasn’t a TV show nor a publicity stunt for any media. It was real humans trying to survive!
I have probably seen a couple of documentaries on the atrocities that humans face around the world but sadly, these videos never really made any impact, like the way this real life experience did.
I could never understand the reasons why any human should be deprived of their basic needs. Especially when there are people out there, who have been blessed in abundance. I realize that this is not about them and how they can change the world, it’s about how many lives people like you and I could touch and make a difference.
I would really never know their stories nor will I ever know their reasons. But I do know that this could have been a question that I could have asked them while I had the chance. Even better, I could have probably offered them a decent meal or a little blessing from whatever I could afford. However, I understand, that at this point I couldn’t see sense in killing myself with regret, considering this issue isn’t even about me. Truth be told, at that moment, just like any stranger, I too am guilty for walking away and pretending to be uneffected by the scene, but ever since, the image doesn’t leave my mind.
I know cannot influence anyone (and I wouldn’t superficially want to either) to do anything if I cannot influence myself do take the first step. Hence, I pledge, that I am always going to try and share a meal with anyone who needs one. Offer a helping hand to anyone seeking for it and do whatever I can whenever it’s possible to uplift a fellow human. Afterall I do believe that there are somethings in life that grow better, when shared!!
I do hope that the person reading this, also has a stir in thier heart to help someone in need, don’t do it for social media, publicity or a display.. Let it be from the heart, let it be a meaningful gesture with the right intentions in mind. God bless!!