By Juliya Popova – 125 Blogger
I can never do my homework, or any assignment at my house, therefore I choose the nearest cafe which has a free wireless connection. Most days nothing too exciting happens. But other days, you catch yourself, unintentionally listening to a stranger’s conversation. Today was one of those instances. I am at a starbucks I come to once in awhile, but not a local one. The spot I am sitting at is at the corner of the starbucks, with four small couches around a small coffee table.
As I’m casually reading some news, three young kids sit down next to me. The kids are young, let’s say freshmen in high school. They have just been chatting about nonsense, most of the stuff I have not been paying attention to. Then one word caught my ear. “Hungry”. Okay, at first I thought they were just hungry and casually talking about food. Then I heard one of the other kids say, “Yea, I’m so tired of looking inside my empty cabinets, I try closing them, then re-opening them hoping something magically appeared!” Then they continued talking about it, but it wasn’t in a joking manner.
I glanced up at them slowly, in a way you would not be able to notice that I have been listening. I noticed the clothes the kids were wearing, you could tell they weren’t out of a closet of some high income parent. Perhaps not even a middle income parent. My heart felt such sympathy for them. They were three kids, watching everyone around them order food and drinks, while they sat there with neither. I started thinking of ways maybe I could offer to buy them some food or drink, but I didn’t want to sound like I was snooping around. However, within a minute of me thinking of how I could possibly help them, they got up and left.
This reminded me of how tough times are right now, and how people really are struggling. It made me think of how much I have, and how sometimes I do take it for granted. Knowing that there are kids going to bed hungry in this country, really upset me today. It’s not that I have never known that people are struggling, I hear about it everyday. But we learn to shut it out of our lives, and forget about it. For that I felt shame. I felt helpless, but above all, I felt sadness. Upset with our government, all the politicians who claim, “they care”, or perhaps that change is coming. It seems to me like change is far from coming.
For some reason, something changed in me today. I am more focused than before, and I want to help with kids living in these kinds of situations. Because one day, if the tables ever turn on me, I may be that kid sitting there, wishing the inside of my cabinets would magically bring food to me, and I would want a person who is “unintentionally” listening to my conversation, to help me.