I have pondered upon this for years. Growing up, our parents asked us to be thankful to God for everything we have. We were force-fed with bitter gourd and turmeric milk while we sat there listening to them rant about homeless people across the street and how they have nothing. This is what I call the “Comparison Method” where you compare your lifestyle with that of the less fortunate and basically be grateful for the life God has “gifted” you and not him/her. What a selfish way to make yourself feel better? Don’t you think?
I mean come on, the guy is already leading a miserable life and you conveniently use his misery to make yourself feel better? Forget charity when you can’t resist destroying the man’s last ounce of dignity ( of him being human) just so you could selfishly quench your thirst to feel better. I say these guys should be paid for rendering this secret service to every passerby on the street. I say thank you homeless people.
As a kid, you might recall liking a toy and nagging your mom to buy it, who unfortunately did not pay any heed to your tantrums. Or those times when you were forced to wear a sweater during winter? Each of these episodes might be followed with your parents rambling about how fortunate you are and to appreciate every little thing you have. They compared us to homeless people who had no clothes to protect them during winter and definitely no toys to play with.
Everyone goes through rough days but homeless people lead a rough LIFE filled with countless difficult days. So how do these guys manage to get through? They have no home, no clothes and barely get any food to eat. Let’s say that if you’re having a rough day, you would go out chilling with your friends, watch a movie or just cook something for yourself. The question is what can homeless people do to feel a little (if not a lot) better about their self? Let’s explore:
A] Go to the beach/park
C] Spend the money he/she has been saving up to get food
D] Have sex (which means more children since they can’t afford contraceptives)
G] Go to places (if possible) like Carter Road, Bandra which usually hosts music concerts that are generally free and open to everyone. So homeless people living there are certainly entertained.
And other things I can’t talk about.
Note that we have no benchmark to compare the lifestyle of homeless people with. You can imagine a homeless kid throwing a fit for a toy he/she desperately wants and their parents just telling them “NO”… and that’s it. No comparisons with the less fortunate because unfortunately they are the less fortunate. They can’t even use school or homework to divert the attention of their kids. What will only work is “Go play with your friends!” or tell them a joke or help them develop hobbies such as bird-watching in the open sky….?
To conclude, I don’t think we need a comparison system to make us feel better. I suggest refraining from comparisons and using the same tactics such as distracting kids with a toy he/she already has(yes fortunately you had more than one) or helping them develop hobbies- something that spells out their individuality and basically use anything that already exists in his/her life only without trespassing onto others’.