Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Third World Thoughts

Sunday Morning, on CBS (Feb. 21), there was a segment by a writer named Steve Hartman who travels the world looking for stories because he believes everyone has one to tell. For starters, this past Sunday, he had an astronaut twirl a floating earth globe in the spaceship's weightless atmosphere and - at random - point to a place where he should go and choose someone - also at random - from a phone book.
I love seeing how other people live and the way they make a life for themselves and Steve takes us all over. (Most of these stories contain great morals and a great deal of inspiration.)
Steve went to India for one of the stories and I think everyone in the world should watch this one YouTube video on a 78-year-old man, quietly living life the best he can, to find out if your life actually sucks as much as you think it does.
Someone commenting on the YouTube site said at least this man was living in a house. (some live in cardboard boxes on the street) I think there were 13 family members altogether. If you watch it you will find out. (Watch out for the Welch's grape jelly commercial at the beginning. Time for a quick bathroom break there.)
Lately this third world view has intruded in my life - not a bad thing - and I find when I use plastic bags or bottles, I try to reuse them as often as possible. I wonder what treasures these might be in a third world country. Would a Glad bag with a ZipLock top be a balloon or a ball, filled with air and zipped up to toss around and bat back and forth? Would it be a way to collect rain water - safe to drink?
But even in my own town I worry about those without a home or people to take care of them. There is a man in town with three shopping carts full of possessions. He pushes one of them along the sidewalk, towing the other one behind. He then leaves the two of them and walks back to get the third one and when he has them all together he starts over again.
When is the last time this man had a good meal I wonder - as I drive by in my nice warm car without stopping. (I'm always on my way somewhere - like to a restaurant to buy a nice warm meal.) There is one thing I have not learned in my life - yet. That is how to approach someone who may not want to be approached.
When was the last time he had a hot shower or clean clothes? Who is there to take care of him?
I do not quite believe the story of the lilies of the field. Some things, some people, need more than air, rain and sunshine. Do you know how to approach someone who may not like human contact? Let me know how to get brave and do it in the best way possible, if you can - femminismo


Candace said...

Oh Jeanne, you are so good to fellow beings on this little old rock.

Well, I should blog about one of my adventures in Athens, but here's what I do. First, I have an old gray 91 Ford Escort, so they KNOW I don't have money or am from the "gummint".

I take the food -- usually sandwiches -- and just let them see that I have brought them something. I dress very plain, white socks and sneakers, jeans and a cotton shirt with an old jacket. NO makeup, no jewelry.

I smile but I don't really talk to them. I just wave and say, "Here you go!" And I leave it and walk away.

One little woman always screams, GODBLESSYAHONEY. Of course, she throws her own little old rocks at me sometimes, too, and accuses me of being that blue devil girl (I wear blue a lot).

Okay, so I am, so what?
Always have someone with you on these missions, Jeanne. And sad to say, you should be prepared in case you need to defend yourself.

Go get 'em, Pal. They're everywhere.

Steve said...

It's tricky. We have a homeless person who regularly hangs around outside where I work but he spurns all offers of help and assistance. I guess the key is spotting those who want to be helped. Those who don't are harder to deal with and sometimes you have to let them go.

femminismo said...

Just so you all know, I LOVE Candace! - femminismo ... and Steve is definitely growing on me.