The following story comes from the Facebook page : NoWorths https://www.facebook.com/noworths
Today I witnessed something which broke my heart and soul.
At a pay point at Pick n Pay in Cresta, an elderly white male, in his 70's, stood behind me with 2 packets of 2 minute noodles and a can of bully beef.
As I completed my purchase I saw in the corner of my eye him putting the can back on the sweets shelf slightly shaking his head, somewhat disappointed, looking down and I saw around R10, maybe R13 in his hand. I realised he did not have enough money, so I offered to pay but he declined with a fake smile. I took all of his items and paid for him, after which he said something which shook my existence.
"Dit is vandag my vrou se 70ste verjaarsdag en ek wil haar so bietjie treat, sy gaan nou darem baie bly wees hieroor, baie dankie."
He was neatly dressed; I could see he was not an alcoholic or a beggar, but an honest man just not able to survive.
I offered to get them a couple of things, where he declined again, but after I persisted he followed me, I asked him what they need or wanted, and he walked to the fruit, got a bag of apples, returned it and only took 2 apples.
He asked if they could get some cheese, he kept on saying I shouldn’t spend so much money, it will cost too much.
He was excited as a child when I said we should get his wife some biscuits. I kept on offering to give him items until he refused and walked to the pay point.
The amount came to a little R130, but I could see he was somewhat shocked, riddled with guilt, almost worried that I would say it is too much.
As we walked out, I could see he had a tear in his eye and he said "Ek voel nou so skaam" (I feel so ashamed).
His told us his wife had polio when she was younger so they could never have children, which I assume would be part of the reason why as pensioners they have little income or people to help them out.
Their cellphone was stolen so their only way of communication is using Telkom cards, which is an expensive luxury to have when you're struggling to pay for very basic food. He was over the moon, walked as if he just won millions, for a small bag filled with not even a week’s groceries.
THIS CANNOT BE ACCEPTED FOR ANY PERSON, OF ANY SKIN COLOUR.
How can honest and humble human beings be so let down by a system filled with so much greed and hatred?
We cannot live like this. We should not tolerate this.
We're human beings and the earth is reach and can provide for everyone, so how is this happening?
I got in my car and started crying. I felt so guilty, so ashamed, I often complain about simple petty matters, where people in our community live with literally nothing.
It's in our power to help those in need. We cannot wait for a system who over promises and never delivers to do it.
Today has re-affirmed my cause, my promise and my passion to make our group grow into an organisation which will stop this poison crippling our society.
Please help me, and our group, to make an impact, to help people, even if it is only a handful, and change their lives.
Let's be proactive, find solutions to help, even if it is just a handful of people, have a small bit of happiness.
An update about the elderly man I met at Pick n Pay on Saturday, we drove to the animal clinic where I though he stays yesterday and today, but could not get hold of them.
He told me he stays by the animal clinic, which could mean they stay in that area.
Unfortunately I will have to rely on him to call me as I have no other means to get hold of him and his wife.
Once he makes that call, based on the absolute amazing response I got from each one of you, their lives will change forever.
I want to thank everyone for your overwhelming positive responses to my experience on Saturday.
I could have never expected that such a humble moment could have turned into such a collective effort of compassion and hope between one another.
Life has thought me an amazing lesson; small acts of kindness can result in an abundance of love and care between human beings, and I am so blessed that I could share with you in this bittersweet experience.
This elderly couple is not the only people in our community who needs help because they are not able to survive, so I am making it my mission to turn our group into a movement which will stand up for our people, fight for equal rights for all individuals in South Africa and also promote kindness by assisting those in our area who really need our help.
There is no money to be made here and no single person will take the spotlight for whatever we manage to create from this. We're a small group of 3500 people in a country with just over 50 million individuals, but with your help and support we have in our hands the tools and capability to unite each person who wants to see a positive change in our beautiful country.
We can be the group who the next generation of South Africans look back on and know that we turned around a country with so much bitterness, greed and hatred, into a country where we work together with care and compassion to be the best in the world.
If you want to see a better future for us South Africans, then you must start changing it today.
I want to thank you and leave you with wise words from the Dalai Lama: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.”