Having Vusi stay with us for a few days has really highlighted how much I take for granted. His wonder at and enjoyment of things I see as completely normal, like having a microwave or a TV or being able to drive to work instead of walking, makes me take stock of how truly blessed I am and be grateful for what I have.
Going to movies, eating at a restaurant or being able to bath every night are suddenly awesome privileges I enjoy instead of routine parts of life. Having my own computer and a job that covers the bills (even if it's not my first choice in what I'd like to do) are bonuses that millions of people don't ever get to have.
Vusi's gratitude at the smallest things - a jacket and old cellphone that TSC no longer uses and a shirt I bought for a friend that didn't fit - stirs me to want to help those who have less than I do. TSC is helping him to draw up a well-formatted CV to try to get him more work, and such a small thing that takes up maybe an hour of our time may perhaps help this young guy to climb up another step in the food chain.
It's that whole starfish story again - the moral is help those you can... it may change a life more than you can imagine. In South Africa, where there's a beggar on every street corner, it's good to remember that. I don't believe giving R5 to every guy who asks me for money is the answer (I'd be broke in two days), but I do think that instead of letting the problem of poverty overwhelm me, I should do what I can do to help.
Small things like donating my old clothes, buying baby food for a struggling mom or teaching someone basic computer skills CAN make a difference. My mom is on the committee of a children's home and I'm sure there are ways I can pitch in there. Hmmm... ideas...
Vusi may be heading home tomorrow morning, but he's definitely leaving us with lots to think about.
And I leave you with this to think about...