Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Some change for...

We were talking stories last night. She was saying how we have to be careful of our stereotypes.

She retold how her friend had shouted at some down-and-out bergie lady when then woman banged on his window. Finally, this lady was able to tell him he had left R1000 in the atm and she was just trying to give it to him.

Oops.

I recalled how some strong-willed coloured woman had approached me on campus once. She had a perfect sob story about a little girl dying in a hospital, they needed funds for the girl’s medical care. Or something. I wasn’t listening that closely. I gave her a coupla Rands. And moved on.

A few weeks later, I walked out of an afternoon exam. I remember campus being fairly empty, and the day being fairly late. I was very “zoned” after hours of exam writing. Not thinking clearly, definitely not in the mood for conversation or reality, and only in need of a pub and a sugar-loaded drink… GimmeGimmeGimme.

The same lady came up to me.

“Sorry, ma’am…”.

ARGH! No no no! I tried to wave her off. I wouldn’t let her get a word in edge ways. No, I don’t have any money. I won’t give you anything. I can’t right now, ok. ARGH!

Finally, in frustration, she shouted at me, “I just wanted to tell you, that girl, who you gave money for, she died!”

And she stormed off, almost in tears.

I still wave people off. I still refuse to listen to any random stranger’s sob story. But about that, I still feel kak.

3 comments:

Sheena Gates said...

God thats a sad post.

Sort of like Crash, the movie. Weeped throughout.

Insane Insomniac said...

stereotypes can't be helped.
I try to keep an open mind, but keep a weary eye at the same time.

High in Dubai said...

It's a harsh reality that stereotypes are more ingrained than we care to acknowledge...

I feel bad, try to correct my actions but sometimes I still fail to not put people in boxes.

I think being conscious of it, goes some way towards working on it.