Saturday, 3 February 2007


A little incident happened yesterday while travelling on the Metro that kept me thinking. A young 'gypsy' with her little sister (I supposed) walked from the beginning of the train, with the little girl hanging a toy keyboard round her neck (with music) and holding a broken paper cup asking for money. Obviously the people have been so used to this kind of scene that hardly anybody took notice of them or even offer them anything. Just a while ago, an old lady came up the metro, sounding a bit "off" her mind as she was talking to herself loudly that the people either were trying to turn away or laughing at her. Just as when she saw the two 'travellers', she called out "Hey, piccola, vieni!', literally means: little girl, come. The little girl was hesitant and looked a bit afraid, but the woman continued to call out. So, they went to her and she started looking into her plastic bag, mumbling: let's see what we have got here, wait. Then, there she goes, taking out a pack of waffle biscuit and gave to the little girl. She even asked the older one if she wants another. The 2 sisters continued they 'business' and she just seemed nothing happened.

Just as we, who call ourselves 'normal', look indifferent to the people in need (probably because it is just such a common scene that we take for granted) and there, people whom we judge as 'abnormal' are the ones extending help to them. Are we normal then? Maybe we no longer trust that these people are in real needs. Maybe it never cross our mind that there are other ways to help these people besides giving money. To what extend can we help or reach out to these people?

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