Being busy caring

The street is filled by shoppers.

They have to show they care.
They have gifts to buy for nieces and for cousins.
There are gifts to wrap, to ship and cards to sign.

They have to show they care.
There is food to cook and invitations to be sent.
They have to clean and decorate the house.

They have to show they care.

But have you glanced behind the dumpster where I live.
I’m not the stench you sense.
I’m thirteen (almost fourteen) and only have a kitten that I care for.

Can you show me how you care?

This image made me think of what we never see, the back alleys and dumpsters. I have no solution, but there are ways to care about those less fortunate than us.

Friday Fictioneers is a community of bloggers writing stories in 100 words to the same image. Rochelle hosts and set the bar with her wonderful writing.

November 8, 2017

81 responses to “Being busy caring

  1. We get it so wrong in so many ways, don’t we? The erection of skyscrapers with their shiny interiors, our patronage to the businesses they house, and our bustling about to SHOW we care. It’s all an insult to humanity and to ourselves if we gloss over the true test.

  2. It’s so interesting how there is a big push to donate to Food Banks this time of year, as if people don’t get hungry in any other season.

  3. This is the sweetest thing. I want to bring that little boy home with me. 🙂

    I love the way you twisted the expectation as I read.

  4. This is sad on a couple levels. First feeling the expectation of having to show you care by buying gifts. It kinda kills the joy of giving.

    The other is that there is so much need in this world. Hopefully we do what we can.

  5. Very true, Bjorn. While many of us are lucky enough to have money to buy at least some level of luxury, there are many who don’t even have a bed for the night. Beautifully told

      • The whole Christmas thing is totally out of hand. I’ve tried to have an agreement with my family that we don’t need to buy each other presents but they won’t agree to it. We all have everything we need, so what’s the point? My sister in law is going on a retreat for Christmas – there’s part of me that doesn’t blame her at all

  6. If only we could channelise a part of our energy we spend in proving another wrong into compassionate giving, the world would be a much happier place.
    Beautifully written

  7. “I’m not the stench you sense.” Excellent line! Your words ring true. I do think that the spending in the stores at Christmas gives the stores hope for a New Year. I always wait until the last minute – but then I only get one gift for each grandchild and then the boys & girls (their beautiful wives) something too. Nicely done!

  8. What a good poem! You make us feel the ambiguity of the obligatory ‘caring’ for those close to us – a good thing in many ways, but how often do we achieve the right spirit amid the hassle of expectation? And then you turn our gaze onto those who have essentially nothing and no-one, and ask “So what about these people?”
    In the UK, the charity “Crisis” does great work for the homeless, and has a special Christmas appeal. If we can’t look behind the dumpster, perhaps we could consider sending Crisis a donation? It will make a difference.

  9. Well written, Bjorn. We are currently fostering two pups. They were 4 weeks old when we got them and we being given away from a farm. I think 10 pups were taken into care all needing bottle feeding, when they needed their Mum. I don’t think we’ve done a good turn, despite all the mess we’ve cleaned up because they’ve given us so much and it’s just been so natural to love them. they were smaller than an adult guinea pig when they came. It has crossed my mind that I’ve opened my home and my heart to homeless dogs instead of people. I do feel I can trust and connect with the dogs more. I have in-laws who foster kids and babies. Yet, at the same time, I know I’m doing what I can especially within the bounds of my health restraints.
    Anyway, you have a beautiful heart and keep letting the light shine.
    xx Rowena

  10. We tend to wear blinders when it comes to those behind the dumpster. To show we care, requires small acts of random kindness throughout the year, not just around the holidays. Excellent post, Bjorn.

  11. We so have gotten lost on the “showing we care with gifts”, haven’t we? This was wonderfully written and grabbed my heartstrings.

  12. Well done, Björn!! We do seem to glaze over even when homeless persons are in plain view, rushing passed. I remember when my son came with me to Montreal shopping for rare comis when he was young. There was a homeless person who sat at the same spot on rue Sainte Catherine with is dog. Later when he was older and went to college he said he always gave to this man. I understand what he meant. There are so many in our Métros as well and I know I cannot give to each one but I too have a few when I recognize I give when I can. I remember seeing that same man I usually give to calling his friend sitting across from him to share his dinner with him.
    Thank you for sharing this and reminding us to open our eyes and show we care.

      • There are so many on my way to work and back late at night in the Métro especially now that it is getting cold. The panhandlers may not stay as long but the homeless persons do… There’ss a lovely older man who gives you the nicest smile no matter if you give him anything or just wish him a good night. I hope he lives through this winter.

  13. A really strong story, the images coming in small and recognisable bursts, and the contrast between the haves and have-nots stark.

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