Hailing from the supposed ‘3rd world’ you would think a country like Australia and a city like Sydney would have no homeless people, no beggars. Unlike my country where street urchins will tap on the window of your car, wipe your already clean windscreen with a soiled cloth or offer blessings in exchange for your money, the poor in Sydney do this more subtly. Appealing notes and posters, talent displays (whatever they may be), bible chanting and a cry for help, heart-tugging demeanour constitutes Sydney’s poor and homeless.
I moved here from India, 5 months ago to complete a Master’s Degree at UNSW in P.R and Advertising. As all things new, it took the supposed ‘3 months’ to get used to and yes, they were right! 3 months hence Sydney now feels like home and everything I wanted was finally coming together.
Walking to work on a rather positive day when I felt for the first time in a very long time that all my dreams were within reach, I came across an old lady crying for a bus fare to go home outside the Sydney Children’s Hospital on High Street in the freezing cold with just a scarf covering her head and a light knit sweater.
I walked past ignoring her, snacking on my spinach and feta bread roll from Brumbry’s Bakery. Something inside me couldn’t forget her aged, tired face and bent back. She reminded me of my late grandfather and his wrinkled, hopeless helpless face as he fought his cancer with so much vigour.
I couldn’t do it! I walked back and asked how I could help and she told me she needed money to get on the bus to go home.
So I gave her the money she needed, directed her to the bus stop and continued my walk to work.
My mind and heart, more over my conscience was at peace.
On another rather sunny day, I was walking past the same place again and saw her do the same thing to another set of passers by and thought, well what a sham!
I felt cheated.
However when I did think of it more calmly I thought to myself, well what ever she needed the money for and what ever my hard earned student money helped her with, never the less HELPED HER! That was all that mattered and should matter.
In today’s day and age of communication where almost any piece of information can be shared, this blog is about people who wish to share their acts of kindness to inspire others to believe that, it is these little acts that can bring about change, one small step at a time, if we all in our small way make our contribution each day and commit to changing the world we live in, beginning with the people who need us the most.