The crying souls in Cebu streets - Philippines.
I personally took this image when I visited the “Balay Samaritano” located in Parian, near the Colon Street of Cebu.
I love making street children smile every time I hit my not-so-funny joke. It’s not only that I admire how they participate well in our long sweet nonsense but comfortable dialogues but also because I wanted to make them feel important regardless of the fact that the society treats them the opposite.
Every time I walk down the street, I see children sleeping near the national highways; their eyes are an evident of another battle in their lives. Their presence kept me inspired to write. Every time I pass across them, the mood is always like I’m walking away from them to start my day leaving their innocent souls still hopeless and craving for survival. I felt the utmost guilt that I cannot do anything for them but stare and pray. I arrived at my destination and I am still feeling the fire within me. I felt the sense of remorse that I couldn’t stop from thinking of a way to comfort them. But I have nothing. I need to find a way that might inspire other people to help them provide their basic needs in the most charitable way. These street children have been suffering from different kinds of bad influences evolving in the society and they need someone they can rely on. I am writing this piece to stand as an advantage and a hope to individuals in lower class society; it’s a step to open minds that they are not a plague.
People have divided themselves into different groups. Societies began to emerge as it grows various religions, culture, customs, politics, and statuses. We live in an imaginary system called “Pyramid” where we have no choice but to recognize ourselves parallel to how the civilization defines us.
What breathes near the ground of the pyramid is the lower class society. Their synonyms are poverty, scarcity of resources, lack of knowledge and power, shortage of basic needs and unspoken rights. Above them is the middle class where life is balance and far from instability. Their synonym is equilibrium. Nothing lacks; nothing is excess. The upper class society enjoys the top of the pyramid. They are the elites, most privileged, influential, leaders and the selected. They are powerful and their voices can be heard by everyone. The system shaped a form of disparity and discrimination to those who were told by their own status to reside and survive in a bare ground.
Lucky is the world indeed that they are innocent. Lucky are those who breaths clean air; lucky is the arrogant that the blames are not charged to them; lucky are those who lives in a so called paradise while majority among children are played by the eyes of unfairness. The children living in the streets are clueless of how deficient their lives are compared to those who lives in a society where spoons are gold and colds are not a problem in rainy days.
We live in different kinds of paradise. To many among the beggars in the street, their place is a paradise. The productive and stable life is mysterious to them; fear and danger runs through their immune system. In every first breath of a living child in the street is a first hope to their family that one day, their lives will be free from shortages and the little echo of their voices coming from the sinister cave be heard in the society. There are reasons why those who shelter themselves under a skeletal domicile continue to subsist the same way of living until they breathe for their last time.
Hopes are shattering.
They are similar to everyone else. They too have their own stories. They too have dreams aiming to fulfill. They too have goals that one day will come, their purpose in life is not only to beg for food and coins but also to produce their needs and wants from their own hard work. Yet, life for them is not as easy as counting one to three. Majority of them were born with no food and shelter. Some are not only physically disabled but also emotionally unstable due to family problems, financial crisis, ominous influence from peer groups, drugs and other vices. Their hopes are shattering not only because of how they bring their lives but also because of the remote gap between us and them. They tend to compare themselves to those who acquire the excess of life and their dreams began to disown them. Their dreams came crushing after seeing few people who are different from them. Their hopes are vanishing away because the societies injected a serum in their brains allowing them to forget who they were before the world told them who they should be. We judge them. We criticise them from head to toe. We condemn their personalities that they are nothing but lazy individuals who steals food and money from wealthy street walkers for their own survival. And what’s even worse, we never gave them a chance to make their hopes and dreams embrace their lives.
We never gave them a chance to portray themselves that they are not worthless; that they are not just a dust in the ground but a little piece that needs encouragement to sustain what’s lacking. It is neither food nor money. But hope.
They smile because they are guiltless. They are innocent of the fact that some of them lives in the street because of unreasonable and unfair selected leaders whose dirty hands keeps secret filthy businesses called graft and corruption. The eyes of street children are innocent from the fact that their lives are in danger in the street; that their future is blank and grey; that the responsible ones fail to remember the existence of poverty. Yet their innocence never formed even a single dark revenge. Their innocence remains pure but silent. One cannot say that behind their smiles are shattering dreams, souls craving for help, lives crying for mercy and voices praying to be heard. They continue to coexist even if their hopes are shattering because giving up is indefinite to them.
VICES AND PREJUDICE
We cannot always put the blame to the marginalized. They should not constantly be held responsible for embracing various vices such as smoking, drinking liquors, practicing unprotected sex or pre-marital sex, and drugs. It may sound unrighteous to say that it is not their fault why they were inhabited by vices. Yet these youngsters were born without education; some grows up alone due to their parent’s negligence and incapability of sustaining their needs; most if not all are forced to perform illegal acts to survive the doomsday in the street. We cannot expect excellence and faultless occurrence in their lives for they have not experienced equal treatment from other societies. They have not properly exercised all their rights because of inequality and futile reinforcement for them.
The laws are supposedly bound to keep them safe in rehabilitation centres and social welfare interventions yet the existence of the programs seems like inefficient and ineffective. Stating for example, the stereotype decision of not accepting a beggar as an employee of some small establishments or qualifying the lower class individuals through their excellent personalities and not by merited credentials has kept the lower class chained from prejudice.
It may be clear that most of street children mature the wrong way and some chose the evil path but in cases like these does not necessarily generalize all other street children. In the same way, it is not right to judge them based on their status in lives; rather it is best to define them from who they truly are as a person. It is true that they beg for food and coins for their survival, but let us not allow them to beg for our trust and compassion for it is best if we give it freely.
Charity is gradually disappearing.
Charity. It is an aid to guide and support individuals who need it the most. Charity is an act of kindness that comes from the profound part of a person’s being. Yet, it doesn’t happen to everyone. People in upper class are slowly ignoring the phenomenal existence of poverty, over-populated lower class and street children. We walk down the street, cross the roads, reach our daily appointments with large establishments, and making our time productive. As we do the same scenario everyday, the lower class particularly the street children are still hoping for food, shelter, clothing, education and currencies to survive. They might as well keep on praying for a gracious charity every single day knowing that the same catastrophic setting will happen.
Charity has paved its way to wither. It’s sad but true. There are a lot of people just walk their personal goals in the street not realising the desperate eyes of the street children lying on the ground, following the fast footsteps as you pass by them. Some people take its time to ease the distress and burden they’ve been carrying maybe for the rest of their entire life. Some just don’t. Others just take the panorama as something ordinary, something not worth to stop by. Isn’t it alarming that people are beginning to lose humanity? Some of us study the Philosophy of love, altruism and Moral values. However, largely, the study rests only in the books but not in the acts.
Life is borrowed. We never know when will time take life away from us. We can never predict the number of days left for us to spend it with important people. Oblivious as it is but life is unpredictable and volatile. We are given this existence to spend it with kindness, compassion, truth and love, generosity and humanity to all persons not only to individuals who do the same towards you. You don’t have to wait for someone who would have your assistance to help the deprived and disadvantaged; you do it by the will that arises from your heart. Love is sweeter when you share it with the ones who needed it the most. We should stand a chance to make good decisions and to impact our own life and those of others in the best way possible.
“You only live once but if you live right once is enough.”
Thank you for reading this piece. It has always been my greatest privileged to share with you the thoughts boiling with true passion from my heart through writing. I wish you every possible success! Bless your dreams and your warm hearts.