The street yesterday was agog with innumerable kinds of people who stepped out of their way to give to the poor what they had. It was a creative gesture and at the same time a show of love for those who out of their condition can’t boast of healthy food and what to wear. I continued my walk to the next lane, and behold, a line of scrimmage with such anger and frustration to have something. Knowing how the chaos was as it is imposed by the receivers, the givers, began to seek a more mature way to handle the trepidation which was already cooking up among the crowd. It is not easy to offer help to the poor, a young lady who had alighted from her husband’s vehicle said surprisingly. They are either fighting or they are defiant to instructions, and when you want to conduct them very well, they seem to conceive you as someone who is very inconsiderate of their plight, she finally concluded.
There were a few places I went to conduct my research and I was startled to see the number of people who were reduced to being beggars on the street. Not too long after I had crossed the other side of the road, had I found a big bus filled with uncooked food, footwear of every colour, and many wonderful gifts that were up for grabs. As they took positions to share the gifts, they also had alerted the cameraman, who also came with a small motorcycle, and his equipment. I heard the other man telling the photographer to make sure every scene is well captured and without mistake, there should be a quality to the pictures, in order to give the value of what they wanted, he told him. I will be at my best and I am going to be painstakingly accurate with everything I would do – say it professional, the man delightfully said.
I am yet to feel the glamour people crave at the use of a camera in a show of support and love to others who are financially unstable. Of what inspiration do you get when you video and record tapes of how you offered a cup of rice to someone. There is something very unsettling about you that always go with your camera to capture at each end the effort you make to assist others. Is it to show reference to your neighbours or to have a receipt you’ll provide to your friends as to how you celebrated your Christmas with the destitute. Or you are trying to inform people that you were about to put out some of your valuables for those who are in want. Of what circumstance would permit you to have some screenshots of your charity and does it simply tell you that you are creating memories in the minds of people. If the latter is part of why you do the snapping, it is highly not commendable, because the act of giving should be a thing of the mind and everyone should as a matter of fact, not replicate the pictures in cards, but in the mind, where it stays forever.
Over time, I have argued with some friends on the need not to install cameras at the various positions where the beneficiaries of charity are reduced to insignificant humans, simply because they are faced with challenges of life. The other time, my friend argued that it gives motivation to some, who are not willing to give but are touched to do so when the screenshots meet the social media. I asked if someone needed motivation to carry out the works of charity, of what use is the act so to say? It is just a mimic and it lacks the fruits and for a second, you get no fulfilment doing that. If someone needs to remind you by mere media publicity the essence of giving to people or realizing that there are poor out there who are dependent on your charity to survive, it is of course true to assume that you don’t know as well that people get sick too. So, when are we going to stay in this false identity and continue to feel it is alright. It is not right to think of other humans as an opportunity to polish your popularity or to restore hope to that political ambition that you are nursing.
Human exploitation is one scourge that has witnessed a lot of negligence in our darling Nation. The way we think of others who are not in our class as valueless is something to be worried about. This is one thing that engineers the intention of exploitation. No human being is valueless, even though the society has placed so much emphasis on class definition, it doesn’t suggest in whatever form that poor people are of no value. One striking value of the poor is that it gives us the picture of the upper class. Without the poor, there could be little or no knowledge of who is rich or of what level is the person’s wealth. So, even when we think of the poor in such an inhuman manner, we should not forget that the indispensability of everyone still stays.
Put down your camera. Just put it behind the scenes of your act of kindness. If you are able to practice this type of withdrawal mentality, it will revamp the idea you have of people. It will as well, not create that impression you often have that charity is a roadmap to social importance and to keep such a position is to amplify the quality of your camera and the little things you give. Giving to the poor is not an affiliation to political canvassing. Learn to exclude your act of charity from the many intentions that spur you to do so. There could be more other necessary need for a camera in your daily routine as a person, but try to avoid the temptation once you wish to squeeze that naira notes in the shivering palms of that man. Forfeit that zeal that makes you think that every attempt to alleviate people from their state is an opportunity to publish yourself. Charity is not an excursion where you have the sceneries of the places you went saved tightly to your phone. Charity is a beautiful act done in a closed-door, specifically and without the invitation of the third party which is your camera and your audience.