Smile ...

7 March 2011

I don't really plan ahead with what I write on my blog. I'll write about various moments in time I experience that leave some kind of impression that I feel is worthy of putting into words.

On thursday of last week, I found myself watching a television programme in the evening. I hadn't planned to watch it. It was just that I had fallen into that slumber on the sofa where the effort to do the sensible thing and take yourself upstairs to bed is just too greater a challenge, so I find myself becoming engrossed in a programme that just happens to follow the programme I had been watching.

It's the fact that I am still thinking of this programme fours days later, that makes me want to relay what captured me about it. I was watching Famous, Rich and in the Slums, a moving two-part documentary for Comic Relief in which four TV personalities are sent to the slums of Kibera in Africa. Stripped of all their possessions, they were left alone for a week to work and survive in one of the most impoverished places on our planet. The viewer is witness to some terrible things; it doesn't make for comfortable viewing. What really left an impression on me was this man who lived  in the slums with his wife and children. He was a gentle man with a beautiful smile. He made his little money making and selling street food. He had eight children and the youngest was sick. The man was unable to take his son to the doctors as he didn't have the money to - money we would regard as loose change in the western world. He was asked if he thought there was 'any hope of getting out of the poverty' to which he smiled and replied 'no'. 'But you're always smiling' the man was told. His reply? He said that he must smile, he had to. He had children and they need to see him smile so to give them hope.

There is a lesson to be learnt in that isn't there.

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