Every society is comprised of a community of those economically well-off, and those who struggle for their very survival.
Having lived in both Nevis and St. Kitts now over two years, a caucasian — I’ve learned some beautiful things about Nevisians and Kittitians. First and foremost, this Federation has a fundamental belief in God. As such, there exists a basic tenant of Christianity shown via Charity.
And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.
Oft times, we are faced with an encounter that puts to test our own compassion. Have you ever been approached by an individual when entering an SKN grocery store? What was your first reaction -- Judgement?
Early on I was approached by such a man, I’ll call him “Mr. Roy”. I took time to get to know Mr. Roy. Afflicted with serious health conditions, without family, unable to sustain a job due to his physical limitations, he appeals to the kindness of others. I’ll also add, that yes, Mr. Roy does in fact hang out at grocery stores, he will ask to clean your car, and he will ask for your charity. This said, he has never been disrespectful to me - ever!
For anyone who takes the time to get to know Mr. Roy, you will soon discover him to be articulate, caring, and a thoughtful man. Mr. Roy and I have grown to become friends. Roy’s condition and circumstances aren’t easy. He lives in poverty. His clothes have been donated. He lives in severe physical pain — but he shows up each day with a smile and determination.
I admire his tenacity and Will to live to his fullest capacity.
Upon meeting Mr. Roy this morning, he shared a regretful event. A young foreign student, registered a complaint at her school, effectively restraining Mr. Roy from surviving in the manner in which he is able. To this young woman, perhaps a simple intolerance based in fear. To Mr. Roy, his very welfare in the balance.
As a foreigner with both age and perspective on my side, I don’t experience fear or intolerance when I encounter a new culture — but I can see how some foreigners might walk with unfounded fear, and overreact. But I am also quick to express that I also understand I am a guest in this country, and in this context, I strive for compassion and understanding — for tolerance and acceptance of what I may lack awareness of.
Every modern nation provides for it’s poor, homeless, in-firmed, and aged populations. Wealthy nations often provide more services than developing nations. But charity is a gift we can all offer — to care for those among us unable to care for themselves. In the absence of church and government programs, these same disadvantaged souls must survive, or they parish.
What are your thoughts? Please comment below.