​THEY ARE NOT GUILTY FOR BEING POOR


After enjoying the tranquil environment and delicacies of Kilimanjaro at Agip Junction, Port Harcourt, we started out to Ignatus Ajuru University because it was getting dark. The moment we stepped our foot out of Kilimanjaro a little boy run up to me. Just like it happens in Onitsha every time, I expected him to drag my shirt, demand for money and then receive a push from me but it wasn’t so. He was murmuring something that I couldn’t hear clearly, I wanted to ignore him but something in me couldn’t let me. I bent to give him my ear and he said “brother please buy me something to eat, I am hungry”. I raised my head, ignored him and started walking my way towards the road. He was very unkempt and carried a bowl; he was probably done from his daily sales of sachet water and I felt like “all this little boys that pretend just to take money from people”. He followed me and continued murmuring his anthem.

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I thought maybe he would stand behind if we cross the road, we did but he persisted, he followed us. Within the few seconds of crossing that road, so many things went on my mind. He had no good clothes, I was putting on nice designers T-shirt, expensive jeans trouser and my black suit. I was smiling along with a friend who accompanied me but he had no company, I was already receiving calls from friends in Onitsha who knew I was travelling trying to know how I was doing in Port Harcourt but him? No one actually cared! I was coming out of Kilimanjaro where a friend had forced me to eat well prepared moi-moi, salad and chicken but he was just still in the middle of his hustles with tears in his eyes. Regardless of any challenge I may have thought about then, I was just so better than that little boy. At his age, my parents never allowed me to go outside to play talk more of catering for my own needs. I felt bad, I felt like crying and I felt like there was much I could do.

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All these things went through my mind as I crossed the road and he followed with his temporal mantra of “brother please buy me food, I am hungry”. It doesn’t matter if that was how he makes his own money; I just never had to blame him. Sometimes we treat poor people as though they became poor simply because there were things they couldn’t do right. Sometimes we talk as though we were comfortable because we had the best plans and worked more hard. Many of us were born into rich homes, many of us saw ourselves in certain platforms that exposed us to becoming better, I don’t think that is enough reason to look at those helpless ones with contempt. I think we don’t need to ask too much questions before helping people, I think we need to be committed in helping those we are better than even if they come again and again. If things were better, he wouldn’t have been in the road looking for food! Some of his mates are in their father’s house playing games, enjoying good food, health care and better life!

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It is not his fault coming into the world where no one cares; it is not his fault that his parents couldn’t take care of him… What if they are late? What if an unexpected fate came upon them? Do we start blaming them for not knowing what we know? I remember the bible saying “how can they hear without a preacher?”

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I think it’s time we stop blaming people for being poor, I think it’s time we do more so that our talks can be proven? I think we truly need to live like Jesus lived… Jesus never blamed people for being sick, poor or uneducated. Rather, he helped people out of every mess they found themselves in. 

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I dipped hand in my pocket, I could have given him more if I had more, I would have given him all I had in my pocket if I wouldn’t be paying for transport bills. I know he may not even be able to spend whatever I give him on relevant stuffs since he is still very little but I just needed to see a smile on that face, I just needed to cheer him up. I handed him a very good amount of money, not the usual thing we give to beggars… He smiled and I smiled back, I felt peace in me as I and my friend entered the ‘keke’ that has pulled by for us.

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Let’s show Jesus!

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#GracefulGeorge

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