If we hold on together

imageA confused 12 years old not quite feeling right within the body I found myself  looking through old eyes at the passing squatter camps. I looked upon the shanty towns, tin shacks, the smell of the morning fires tickling my nose and the flames going up into the dawn air.  As I watched it pass sitting in the car on the hour long journey to school after yet another weekend with mothers boyfriend in a far off town. I found myself enveloped in wealth of sadness as tears ran down my cheeks.

What the hell is going on in the world?

Why do so many seem to think only of themselves?

Don’t people realise that there are people, kids, humans starving?

Don’t people realise that people are homeless, without shelter or blankets?

What the hell is going on in this world?

Disease!

Wars!

Terror!

Death!

Don’t people see how much the world needs help? Love? Hope?

Doesn’t anyone else feel saddened by what I see?

Don’t they suffer like I do knowing that there are so many without what I have?

What the hell is going on in this world?

It wasn’t the first time the tears ran down my 12 year old cheeks and I new it wouldn’t be the last.  I could not fathom why people just didn’t seem to care and as I sat there day in and day out I came up with different ways to help the people living in those tin shacks, the people who use open fires to cook their porridge for breakfast, walk miles to just get some cooking water never mind a bath, they don’t know what baths are.  I swore to myself that one day I was going to help the people in the world, that I would do all I can and not just sit by like everyone else seemed to.

During the week when we were home I would walk the 5km home with my younger brother in tow and pass homeless children and adults.  Each time we passed them I felt the sadness fill my soul once more, I wanted to start helping them but I was scared, what if I did it wrong? What if the bigger people got angry with me?

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After a few weeks walking past them I couldn’t take it anymore, I stopped and stood in front of a little girl.  I looked at her, she was so tiny, her clothes torn, the sadness within her young eyes broke my courage free.  As I bent down to take off my socks the smell of the streets permeated my whole being, she was hungry and cold.  Socks in my hand I passed them to her and showed her how to put them on her feet.  I will never forget her smile for as long as I live, she seemed to lighten and did a little dance.  My used socks were the first gift she had ever received.

My socks made a difference and I decided right then and there that I would carry a pair of clean ones where ever I went from then on.  I also decided that I would take some of mothers money and buy chocolates and crisps for the people I passed.

There were times that people passing by such scenes, well dressed and warm, fed and plump.  They would tell me to leave the people alone, that I must go home and not worry about them, that it was their choice, that they should just get up and get work.  I would look at them with silence, finish what I was doing and only once the people who had stopped had left would I continue home. I was not going to let them win, deep in my heart and soul I knew that they were wrong and it broke my heart.

I learnt a hard lesson every time someone tried to make me stop.  I learnt that humans don’t see the world as I do, they don’t understand, they don’t care or try to do something even if its only small.  I decided that I was going to continue as I did, that I wasn’t going to stop doing something that felt a part of me.  I accepted that people were different and that some were just too busy in their own warm fully fed lives to see, that people felt guilt if they opened their eyes.

image I felt strange and odd, I felt a misfit, an alien in the world.  People always looking at me funny, telling me that I was different and not normal.  No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t stop the intense tight knot of sadness in my stomach. I couldn’t stop the tears that flowed down my cheeks. I couldn’t stop wanting to make a difference but I was going to do it quietly and without witnesses because the others as I now called them put other meanings to what I did.

Many years have passed since that time and the sadness still sits in my stomach like a big volcano.  It simmers and bubbles away, overflowing when I watch the news, read a newspaper, see someone in pain or experiencing hard times.

The now is no different than the then except with one huge exception.  The me in the present now knows of others that feel and do as I do, of people who cry tears for the world and use their souls to cast light upon the world.  There are many of them and I have been blessed to be shown that they exist, better yet these people are my friends whom I hold dear within the walls of my heart.

No act of kindness is too small

No act of love too great

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Together we might not be able to solve all the worlds problems, we might not be able to feed every starving soul or clothe them, put them in a warm house or teach them to read.

But…

Together we can hold on together, we can do the little things each day, we can show love, give hope and bring smiles to those around us or afar.

Together we can make a difference

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This song sums up that 12 year old girl with tears running down her cheeks, I wish I had heard it during that time in my life.

Live your story
Faith hope and glory
Hold to the truth
In your heart
If we hold on together

Don’t lose your way
With each passing day
You’ve come so far
Don’t throw it away
Live believing
Dreams are for weaving
Wonders are waiting to start
Live your story
Faith hope and glory
Hold to the truth
In your heart
If we hold on together
I know our dreams
Will never die
Dreams see us through
To forever
Where clouds roll by
For you and I
Souls in the winds
must learn how to mend
Seek out a star
Hold on to the end
Valley, mountain
There is a fountain
Washes our tears
All away
Words are swaying
Someone is praying
Please let us come
Home to stay
If we hold on together
I know our dreams
Will never die
Dreams see us through
To forever
Where clouds roll by
For you and I
When we are out there
In the dark
We’ll dream about the sun
In the dark
We’ll feel the light
Warm our hearts
Everyone
If we hold on together
I know our dreams
Will never die
Dreams see us through
To forever
As high
As souls can fly
The clouds roll by
For you and I

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9 thoughts on “If we hold on together

  1. You just gave the best reason why some comfortable, greedy rich people refuse to open their eyes and look at the poverty of others: they will feel guilty if they do.

  2. SF….I too have felt “strange, odd and misfit” for similiar reasons. Its taken a long time (until just 7 or 8 yrs ago probably) to embrace this side of who I am instead of feeling like it was a bad or wierd thing. You really opened the window of your soul on this one to give me a glimpse of the person living inside…You already knew this but you are precious.

  3. @SF”Why do so many seem to think only of themselves?”

    Perhaps (some) of these people are the ones who were without and now that they have something (phychologically) it is just too difficult for them to let go.

    My dad was born in 1918 and my mom in 1928. Both my parents knew what it was to be without. However, for some reason they also knew what it meant to sacrifice for others too.

    There are six of us kids. I remember on Sundays we would have our “big” meal. It would either be a roast or a chicken. I am 54 years old now and I can still see my dad sucking on the neck boan and wings. I mean I think my dad missed his calling. The way he sucked those chicken neck bones clean you could have dried them and used them in an exibit. But the reason he ate the neck and wings was to let us six kids have some real meat.

    Mom and Dad always made sure we kids knew that even though we didn’t have much we had what we NEEDED and there were those much less fortunate.

    My parents have always served their community. As a matter of fact while I was “home” this past weekend for mom’s 80th birthday celebration I rode with her while she did her Meals on Wheels route. She has been delivering Meals on Wheels since 1979!

    SF, things in the world have been screwed up ever since God created man and gave him the ability to make decisions and act on those decisions.

    However, can you imagine how much more screwed up the world would be if there weren’t others willing to do what they can to make a difference?

    If each of us would just do what we can….

  4. Um, um….wow! Talk about making me think! I think a lot of people just don’t want to think about things like this. It makes it less real. I haven’t see what you have but I do try my best to help others if I can. I have never given anyone my socks though. Your so wonderful and so loving. I feel so fortunate that you are in my life and I give thanks to you.

  5. Audrey… There is a phrase I read in a book, about how someone is a rare human being. You are rare. You are wonderful. You are kind, caring, and truly understand the pain of others.
    I admire you greatly for what you’ve done and for the person you are, and I hope you know just how rare and incredible you are.

  6. Wow. Fantastic post. I knew you were a beautiful soul already, but the image of a 12 year old girl giving her socks to someone in need will always stay will me. I feel so blessed to have met you, SF.

  7. Even when it feels like we only can give a drop to the ocean of need in this world, a little girl can get a pair of socks…..

    That really gives me pause, and a great perspective of what true giving to the world is all about……..

    If each of us offered such a gesture as yours, how different the world would be!!!!!

    I love you, sis.

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