WRITTEN BY SUNEET SINGH
When I was six-years-old, I traveled to India. For me this was the start of my love for seeing the world, as well as the beginning of my love for helping others.
For many people, I think the idea of charity and needing to help others is a foreign concept. For many, human suffering is just something you see in the six o’clock news, but being in India I was able to see the suffering up close. As a young child, I didn’t quite understand why some people didn’t have the opportunity of living how I did. Heck, I barely understood the concept of sharing with my brother. But bit-by-bit, as I spent my summer in India, I was able to learn one of the most impactful lessons of my life.
One of the most vivid memories I have is of riding in a jeep with my uncle and cousins and having swarms of children rush into traffic. They were carrying garlands of flowers asking for a few rupees in return for their wares. Being so young, I didn’t quite understand what they were doing. When I asked my mom, she explained by comparing it to kids having a lemonade stand back home.
The most shocking thing to me about the whole experience was not once did anyone roll down their window and hand a few cents to these poor children. It hurt me to watch it. Since I can remember, I’ve always been inquisitive. I question anything and everything — to the annoyance of my parents and brother. And this whole experience definitely didn’t make any sense to me.
I didn’t understand why these kids were running into traffic. I didn’t understand why these kids were all alone. I didn’t understand why nobody was helping them. I mean whenever I had a lemonade stand growing up, all the adults would stop and buy a cup of lemonade with a smile.
Thinking back now, I realize that these kids weren’t receiving help because no one cared. They weren't selling flowers just for extra money, but for a living, and still no one cared. For me, I associate the word caring with the word humanity. It’s sad to me that as humans we have become so accustomed to the less fortunate that we have stopped caring. We have forgotten how to help others in need. We have forgotten humanity.
Through this experience I acquired a personal mission to never be like those people. I want to hold on to my humanity. Truth is, I still don’t understand why some people don’t care, but I know that I do and I won't stop.