It’s funny how we humans view the world. Scratch that, how we view other humans. What makes a human, human? Like seriously, what does? Is it the clothes they wear? Is it the car they drive? Is it their level of education? Is it their fancy looks? Is it their decent home? Is it their social status? Is it their money? If being human is based on the mere fact we are alive and are called people, then why do we have social classes and look down upon other humans? It is with this I realize that being human in this world is not defined by biology or fact we are the superior species in the animal kingdom.
A few days ago I saw a social experiment on the homeless and the rich. To say I was shocked by what I learnt would be a lie. I was at loss for words. People automatically paid attention to the rich or well off people or normal looking people going to extra lengths to make them comfortable. Out with the rich and comes in a homeless man entering a restaurant to buy a meal. The homeless person was stopped at the door and despite stating that he had money on him, he was asked to leave for his kind was not allowed to be in such a place. What was his kind? Is there another type of human being I didn’t know about or is it that social status, looks, money, house are what define our being human?
With every story I watched I saw the big mirror that had been held before me. I was not just looking at various random people dismissing the homeless, street children or less unfortunate, I was actually looking at myself. I have never in my life posed to question how I treat the needy amongst us. It was just a norm to dismiss them and assume they are little thugs or want money to buy alcohol or “gum” for the Nairobi street children. Each time they approach me I hold my bag tighter and walk faster. When I am in the bus and that deaf guy enters the bus I look away at the window sighing “Oh my, there he is again”. I remember other days walking by a beggar and saying with aloofness in my head “Why can’t these people get a job?”
I never in a single day stopped to imagine what it was like to be in their shoes. It is worse because, it had gone on for so long that it has become part of me. I cannot even tell you who taught me this doctrine of dismissing the needy in the streets and as I walk along the way. As I saw this random people do this to the needy I was at first angry and cursed them, for being so mean. In that moment the big mirror was produced before me. I saw myself clearly in them as this revelation burst in me. I cannot express how ashamed I was of myself. I just cannot believe how selfishly I have lived all those years. The blindness was not even obvious to me until that moment.
How many of us even pose to think about what the needy are going through? When did they have their last meal? When did they have their last bath? When was the last time they had a warm bed to sleep in? When did they have a friendly conversation with just a random person? Who even cared to say hello and how are you doing? Who ever bothered to find out what life was like in their shoes? Probably most of us have never done this, yet if we were the ones on the streets we would desire the ones passing by us would offer a hand of help or just a meal.
We always think that we who walk past them are better off and they are to learn from us and not us from them. Well on this day I was glued to my chair and forced to learn a lesson on humanity from them who I dismissed so easily every day. I saw them share there little meal even when they were not sure where the next would come from. I do not understand how someone with nothing can share with one who has plenty. They were ready to help people with a penny or two to help them catch a bus home while they remained in the cold hard streets. They remained to be the honest lot in the two classes, which is amazing because they had nothing and could easily keep that wallet for themselves. I saw them live by faith in its rawest for and by nothing else.
I always wondered why God seems to speak about them with such high regard and on this day I received my answer as I saw their humanity, compassion, honesty and generosity in the face of adversity when the rest of the world remained inhumane to them and thinking less.
I purposed in my heart to be a ready hand to assist them when I met them, to say hello, know how they are doing and to share the little I have with them. As this lesson came to an end, I got on my knees and started to repent for my pretentious nature of treating other humans better than others while we are all equal to Him who will judge us for all our actions. As I said the prayer, the Bible verse in Matthew 25:35-40 was brought before me and I saw myself on Judgment day as I heard the Voice say candidly,
“for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
THE THINGS WE GET IN LIFE CAN MAKE US A LIVING
THE THINGS WE GIVE TO PEOPLE CAN MAKE A LIFE
NEVER LOOK DOWN ON ANYBODY UNLESS YOU’RE HELPING THEM UP.