Do you treat your dog better than me? How do you treat the downtrodden?
People vs. Pet who do we treat better?
Which do you treat better people or pets?
Ok, so in this article I want to explore the dynamics of relationships in terms of treatment. I remember in encounter one Friday. I was at a church where they fed those who were hungry on Fridays. I noticed a couple of disturbing things, but for me I like to take issues head-on, sometimes that is not the best approach when certain politics are in play. Being born Brittany Vanessa can make you a rebel always with a cause intentionally and unintentionally, above all else I am for equality of persons and respect regardless of their home life. The reason why I am saying regardless of their home life is because will excuse the mistreatment on others based on their living condition or situation, for me, that is not justifiable. I am by no means perfect, but that is something I try to avoid doing.
So, I first want to say that I applaud the church for taking a day out of their schedules to devote a couple of hours to feeding those in need of food in their community. Some churches don't feed any day, so I commend them on doing so. I also want to commend their pastor for wanting to help the people in his community as well as in his congregation. Now, the things that irked my nerves was the mistreatment.
So, one day we are feeding, I noticed that some of the volunteers were stuffing their faces before the people came through the door. I was shocked, I thought the people that need this have not come through the door yet and you are taking what you think is the best of the best (the cake and best pieces of food). This was so wrong for me on so many different levels. So, of course it came time for me to be invited to feast before we feed. I declined saying, "No, I'm here to feed those who need the food, if I'm hungry if anything is left I would eat, but only after they are all full and don't want anymore."
Before you make a declaration such as this you should be ready for any fall back, because a statement such as this no matter how true it is, is likely to offend the guiltest of the guilty. It will rub them the wrong way two times over, but if you are there for the people that are in need, you will have to hang on to that. You may find yourself getting looks and snares, but I believe if you don't stand for something you will not only fall for anything, you will go along with anything for peace sake.
Also I should mention I was a bit driven also, because I would buy two or three nice cakes for the people in need, so they would have a nice dessert, some of my favorites of course. It was my way of giving them a bit of something I enjoy for dessert. I would ask the cook what they needed or were short of and then go to the store and buy droves of it. So, we'll say I had a little stake in the food, but even if I didn't I still would have spoken up.
So, as I was bringing in the cakes one volunteers eyes shined with greed and I caught the glance, they volunteered to sit the cake down and I took that opportunity to say, "No volunteer can take any of this before the people get to it only after all have been served." The reason why I said this is because, the volunteer was bold enough to say, "Oh, we are going to love this German chocolate, hmm." Needless to say, I was disgusted and probably could have said it with more delicacy, but I was a bit disgusted by the light in the eyes, so maybe I snapped back.
So, she rolled her eyes looked at me a bit funny and went it. From that point on I found myself spending more time with the people eating talking to them, laughing with them, hearing their stories, etc. I spent less and less time with the servers and more time with the served and I was ok with that. I got to know a great number of people in the city and learned their stories, which were unique and interesting. However, the more I blended in with this populace the greater was the divide between me and the volunteers.
One day before we were serving, someone brought in about 20 loaves of bread. I was shocked, but pleased now they can have these huge loaves to take with them when they leave. No sooner than I thought this and smiled, I was eager to get it to them. I notice that the bread is disappearing in droves and I look up and one volunteer is taking them maybe he got about 8 or 9 pieces. I couldn't remain silent so I said, "Hey you that hungry?"
(Sometimes I use humor to breakdown the seriousness of a situation.) He said, "No... This is for my dog (DOG, I THOUGHT?) he likes to chew on this type of bread. (laughs and take bread to his car.) I had to be stroke dumb for 5 minutes. My mind refused to think I had heard him right. So, this bread that can sustain them even after they leave here is not going to reach many of them (at least 8 or 9), because you want your dog to have something to chew?
To me that was maddening it was unconscionable, so then I am hypersensitive to the treatment. I notice that no one is really allowed to be in the serving area. They are going so far as to set up plates and drinks in chairs, so the people don't have to go through the line, they can come in and sit down. At first, I thought this was so they could get the food quicker (so naive and hoping for the best) then I noticed the treatment. How they tried to rush them out to the sitting area, sometimes being rude and down right nasty.
I remember one guy saying he didn't want something on his tray, trying to explain what he wanted. The cook says in a nasty tone, "THIS AIN'T BURGER KING YOU CAN'T HAVE IT YOUR WAY!" as other volunteer agreed with their sentiments. They echoed the sentiments of, as if they have the right to ask for anything. I thought, why are you serving them if you are going to mistreat them, haven't they been through enough. I would see how some of the people coming in would try to say hello or greet them and only a few would greet back the others were rude.
Then, I got the skinny, which was that some had stolen things from the church, so they wanted them where they could watch them and they didn't want anyone to spend too much time near the kitchen area to long, they might steal. For me, I thought if I couldn't handle feeding because of robbery I wouldn't feed, because you can be doing more harm than good. Hurt people definitely hurt people or others.
The greater question for me was, do we treat our animals, pet, etc, better than we treat humans our fellow man. In some respects yes, we do. The amount of care, concern, and attention we give our pets is nothing short of unconditional love, which for me is great. You should take care of everything that you have taken into your care, but why not show the same amount of care to the downtrodden. To the person who is seeking food and you say you feed. Why can't you just treat them how you would want them to treat you if you were in their situation? It can't be rock science or maybe it is for some.
This for me is an expectation when you sign up for helping others, respect and care are a given not optional. This is my peace on the subject if you must say in your own mantra, "Treat others the way I would want someone to treat my animal." Say it, more power to you, but do it, follow through, see them the way you see your pet as something of value, something that matters. They count, maybe not on our everyday scale of life, but they matter in the long run. They are a part of something greater than your everyday life or day to day routine, they are connected to you weather you believe it or not. Treat them well, because if you are lucky there will come a time when you will need care.