Pride

On my way to catch the bus this morning, I passed a man. He was pushing an old shopping cart. In the car was a large black garbage bag. By the sounds I heard, I assume the bag was filled with empty pop bottles and cans. The man was unkempt. If not homeless, he definitely seemed poor. At least downtrodden.

Every once in a while, I’ll come across someone like this, particularly since we live in midtown. I don’t often think much about it; I’ve seen homeless/poor people a lot in my life. After all, there’s not a lot I can do to help them all.
Anyhow, this time, I noticed something I hadn’t seen on anyone else I had come across in similar situations.

He wore cap with the words “Native Pride”.

It made me wonder. What made him proud? Certainly, his economic situation didn’t seem like a source of pride. I know it’s a cultural thing for aboriginal persons in Canada to avoid eye contact when meeting someone of authority (not that I am any sort of authority). I wonder, however, if having his eyes averted to the ground the entire time we encountered each other in the crosswalk was more than culture.

The entire experience made me wish I could do something. Something to encourage real cultural pride. Something to help my own people. Sometimes I feel a kinship with my aboriginal brothers and sisters. At times like this, however, I can really feel the separation generations of European genetic dilution has caused.

Is it better to have more?

Should I feel bad that I have substantially more than others? Should I feel guilty if I have ten suits when a father in Mozambique makes 7$ a month and has to spend a month’s salary to provide malaria medication for his three-year-old daughter? Is it wrong to see design TV shows as being too extravagant when families in the Philippines have dirt floors or cooking shows as being too self-absorbed when families in Kenya get water from a dirty, disease-ridden puddle?