Flies. I would ask for flies, and the correct methods to take care of them.
I don’t mean the pesky bugs, I have plenty of those buzzing around and being annoying. I mean the ones that are bigger, the flies of this life that create more harm that mere annoyance. I mean the ones that get under your skin, into your thoughts and into your heart. Maybe, it isn’t that I want the flies, they are there, they are here and they make themselves known. What I would like, would be the way to handle the flies. The heart, the mind, the will.
When I look out onto the world around me with open eyes, I see the struggles. I see the hurting. They aren’t hidden, many would like for them to be. That out of sight out of mind mentality. If I don’t see it, then it doesn’t exist. yet, it does. Just because you have pushed it out of your neighborhood and line of vision, doesn’t mean it no longer exists. It simply exists elsewhere. Not your neighborhood, not your problem? Oh yes, it is, or it should be.
We’ve seen the homeless, carrying all they own on their back, pushing it in a shopping cart picked up from somewhere. We’ve seen them, sitting on a sidewalk, asking for money, asking for conversation, asking to be seen. Begging to be seen as a human not a discarded animal. We often treat animals better, worry about them more. We begin campaigns about them being family. We demand they not be left inside cars in the heat or left outside in the cold. There are adoption events, and food collection events. Clinics that do low cost surgeries. All for animals. Which is good, I don’t argue or belittle that fact. But people. I want the fly that buzzes around my head and heart, reminding me. They are people. They need to be remembered. they need to be acknowledged. They need help.
It isn’t always about money, but it often takes money. I’ve had homeless people approach me. Some have asked for money for food. They really wanted the food. Not money for chemical substances, but something to fill a hungry stomach. Something that might quiet the grumblings of an empty belly at least for a while. Food in the stomach often easing a hurting spirit.
I’ve had homeless people approach me and ask for nothing but a few words. A few moments of conversation on a long, quiet, empty day. The interaction between to humans who were simply passing each other. A few words, that proved they were seen, they were acknowledged as human worthy of conversing with. A few words, that will never appear in the annals of history, never be acknowledged as important in the grand scheme of things, but for that individual, at that moment, it meant the world.
I once watched a homeless individual who had been sitting on the edge of a sidewalk in front of a store, jump and run in the midst of a pouring rain and catch and return a runaway shopping cart to prevent it from crashing into a car. He brought it back to the sidewalk as he moved, now dripping wet from the rain. For that moment in time, he had been useful. He had done something good no matter how minor.
Years ago, I witnessed a couple walking along the side of a rural road, hand in hand. I was told they had a tent somewhere in the woods. They had no solid structural home, but they had the tent, they had each other. More recently I saw where a homeless individual had died. This was a person who chose the lifestyle, but had made many friends who looked out for them. The death (through natural causes) of this individual left a hole. This individual, though homeless, had touched many lives. The couple had love, the individual was loved. They were homeless, but in one sense, they had the world.
And that is just the homeless.
I want to be reminded of the elderly among us. The neighbor down the way, the one you never see have any visitors. Do they need someone to wave at them, to speak with them? Do they need help with a chore? Are they safe? Are they fed? Do they have a way to heat or cool their home? Is there food in the home? Do they need transportation somewhere? Do we have time to help, even if that help is finding the things we are unable to offer?
I want to be reminded of the elderly tucked away in an assisted living facility. Those forgotten by family or who have no family. What are their needs or wants? Other than to be remembered.
I want to be reminded of the children. The ones who are abused. The bullied. The ones who have been abandoned. The ones who struggle with learning, with socializing, with living.
These I know, are but a few. Life is filled with a variety of flies and the harm they cause.
I want to be reminded of the difficulties that are faced by others. I want to be able to walk with eyes that see, ears that hear and a heart that cares. I want to have the ready hands and strong back willing to help. I want to be annoyed by the flies of life, and find the ways to rid life of them. Even if it is on a small scale. Even if it is with the help of others. Especially if it is with the help of others because it offers the opportunity and proves that they see the needs as well.