Dilapidation in the middle of wealth and modernity

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Yesterday I visited a friends place, her building is close to the city- a beautiful high rise building with good furnishings and very modern. She has great city views and sea views from the 14th floor.

As I admired the view and looked down, I was taken by surprise by the very contrasting views below. It is possible that a person sleeps on the mattress, outside on the roof. It is also very possible that 20 men live in a tiny room that seems to have no light or windows and doors. I saw that the tap outside was used for washing clothing and personal ablutions. I also saw a man doing his shaving and grooming right there in full view of whoever was watching.

Being a young professional myself, and interacting with people in my “league” I realised that I was so far removed from the realities and trials of real people, real struggles and poor conditions. And while I do not want to minimise the struggles that middle- upper class people face, we still have the financial “comforts” to soften our blows and our trials.

I landed up watching from the top for quite a while, absorbing all this below me. A part of me felt I would not want to have this kind of view every day, and on further introspection I realized it would be my way of turning my back, pretending that people don’t really live this way. Not wanting to be overcome by some sort of guilt.

But then I thought perhaps it is good to live close to this, it may drive me into being more charitable with my time and money. It may propel me and/  others to advocate for those who are in vulnerable situations.And for now, this very moment to find gratitude in the many many many blessings and comforts I have

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