Should I Fake a Limp? | #MyFridayStory №241

Photo by Timur Weber

Seen on a beggar’s signboard: Should I fake a limp?

Although you may smile, you wonder what it would take for us to notice the plight of a struggling fellow human. How bad do things have to be for someone before we realise they need our help? Because they’re not bleeding out of their eyes, they must be fine.

I’ve seen many people suffering since the pandemic struck in early 2020. Some people who were struggling before became destitute. Some folks who had no reason for concern about death before grew fearful. Children became scared of losing elderly parents. Parents were fearful of losing their jobs. Debt collectors came knocking on the doors of everyone — rich and poor. Friends, family and loved ones started dying. Large scale fear took hold.

Soon, many more wondered where their next meal would come from.

There’s no telling how the past 2 years have affected another person. We can only assume that it’s been negative. Throughout the pandemic, mental health has been a concern for the medical fraternity. The full extent of the damage to our mental state is still being calculated and will be for a long time. Most of the research is coming out from overseas. But there’s lots of evidence from local research of how bad things are, especially for our youth.

In the weeks following the national lockdown, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group and Childline experienced an exponential surge in calls. School pupils had to contend with shutdowns, many losing 70% of a year. Younger children’s progress was further hampered as parents stayed home and kept children home. Their ability to read and write is seriously disadvantaged as they try to progress. There has been a threefold increase in the number of student dropouts. (750 000)

Access to professional care is the biggest hurdle for young and old suffering from depression or other mental illnesses. Where to turn, who to go see, many have no avenue or outlet to seek help. Mental health problems are inherently difficult to treat and the treatment is normally long-term. This makes the number of success stories very limited. Only those that have seen the process through, and remain in a program, will see benefits.

Yes, the pandemic has left an indelible mark on us all.

Still, I have met many business owners that are busier than they have ever been. I have seen families draw closer because they realise how fragile life can be. I’ve seen hardened hearts become softened. I have watched as friends found renewed value in their friendship. The joy of travel, the privilege to see other places, is cherished. There is joyful singing ringing out from the churches, temples and synagogues once again. The unbanning of gatherings and events are bringing us together again. The loud cheerful chatter is a giveaway of how much it has been missed.

Every one of us could do with giving a little more care and showing real concern and empathy for those around us. We’ve all been down at some point and know how debilitating that can feel. Being present with a loving heart while someone is suffering can mean a world of difference to them.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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