{To live} Perspective

Compassion

Yesterday I was reminded of a few things. I was nudged to realise once again that possessions shouldn't own us. It's so easy to become dependent on things these days: phones, bank cards, computers. My handbag was stolen from the back of my chair in a coffee shop yesterday. Someone saw my silly relaxed mistake and took advantage of it. It wasn't fun, but what really affected me was my visit to the police station afterwards. While I waited to fill in the necessary forms, two young girls stood at the back of the room, clearly uncomfortable and seemingly afraid. As the policeman started to shout and swear at them, firing questions, I gathered that they had been caught stealing two bags of sugar. As the tirade continued from other policemen and women, and there was poking and cornering them, one girl began to cry... I felt a deep ache for these two girls. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that stealing is fine and how can these policemen be nasty for nothing. I get it. These cops are tired. They see so much of the same thing that they just take out their frustrations on whoever comes in so that the offenders are scared to try the same crime again. But sugar. Sugar? This country has serious problems in terms of poverty and education,  two of the main factors that lead to crime in my opinion. This isn't a political blog, and I don't want to go into reasons why poverty, children being left to their own devices, crime and lack of education are problems here in South Africa. I also know that we mustn't make excuses for crime. But simply put, what this reminded me, was that I cannot sit and cry over my stolen phone, or the admin entailed in losing a drivers licence and ID, because those two girls had stolen bags of sugar and no one can say that that wasn't out of desperation. Perspective much? I still hope that the gap shrinks, and that one day soon everyone can say how happy they are to see more people with jobs, less living on the street, that they feel safe in their own country. I leave for the UK on Monday to live and work there for a few years and I will miss Cape Town like it's one of my best friends. This incident reminded me that it is essential to remain compassionate and kind no matter what is thrown at us. Heck, let's even try staying positive in spite of it all :) I promise to write something less depressing next time, but wanted to share my little lesson with you all. Have a wonderful rest of your week, everyone.