sympathy, the zoo, & the fiscal address to the shadow of death
that is exactly what they had, or the little that what was left of it. some of them couldn't have been more than 15 years old, maybe. i choked, not because of just their circumstances, but because none of them smiled, their eyes looked so vacuous, as if there whole bodies had shut down like mine wanted to, and their evenings were set to autopilot. i wanted to grab them, and run, where? i didn't care. not at that moment. i just wanted to transport every single one of them to someplace where they could cry again. where they could love because of love, where their soul wasn't bought for 20-200 rupees (a mere $.50-$4.00). but it doesn't do much to stare at their present circumstance, sympathy is an enabler, and i wasn't in a zoo, i was walking through the valley of the shadow of death with a fiscal address.
my lungs began to seize and my breath's got shallower not just because of the excavated pupils surrounding me in every direction but because of the shear amount of children running through the streets, for them this was home. these streets were where they spent the days of there early childhood learning about life, and what it contained. what is to become of them? are they destined to live the same as their parents? are they to be the ones i will walk past and eventually cry over 15 years down the road. i have to do something. st. luke said "to much is given, much is required," and that night much was given to me.
"brad" works with these kids each and every day teaching them a trade so that they won't have to repeat the lifestyles of the ones that have gone before them, i asked him what he feels when he sees the "kids" (both the girls of the street and their children) each and every night. he said that it still hits him from time to time though he has grown immune over time because he sees it so frequently, but then he said "there is nothing i can do about what is happening tonight, i cannot save anyone that has worked in this industry in the past or the present, my eyes are simply focused on what and who i can change in the future." as i sat in the chair just moments after the experience his words sank deep like the sting of a syringe, pushing medicine painfully into my arteries and permeating throughout my body.
my head aches to help now, i don't want to grow immune to a lifestyle were pursuing comforts in life is far more the venture than doing my part to help humanity for the better. imagine if everyone helped just one person in the advancement of his or her lives? imagine a world where the west did more than just throw money at the problems of the world and actually got involved in the caretaking of the innocent.
as the fog of the night cleared, as if even the night itself knew the lessons i would learn that fateful eve, i remember thinking that i regret that i had just one life to live for these children and children like them around the world. what is this short life that i should care what the world thinks of the level of my success. i now know that this savior complex that i was trying to evaluate and "treat" was not a complex at all, but rather was a mere introduction to the fate and destiny that lay before me.