Wendy Nyakurerwa-Matinde Editor
TOO often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of kindness, all of which have the potential of turning a life around.
When Leo Buscaglia, an American author, said these words, he aptly captured the essence of humanity. Every one of us, even those that appear like ‘tough cookies’, are hungry for acts of kindness.
In his books, ‘Born for love’, ‘Love: What life is about’ and ‘Loving each other: The challenge of human relationships’, among others, the late Dr Love, as he was affectionately known as, celebrates life and the food that sustains it — love.
He deals with the dynamics of human relationships and points out that society’s suspicious attitudes towards tenderness and compassion has created detached, apathetic people who are not bothered by their neighbours’ cries for help.
They couldn’t care less that a fellow human being has been involved in a road accident and is lying in a pool of blood, they will snap pictures and publish them all over social media before thinking of calling an ambulance.
This detached lot will throw food away while a child-headed family in their neighbourhood starves. They will not smile at those in distress or offer a listening ear.
Looking at society today, you realise that there are so many of these detached, angry people, who are only concerned about their own welfare. Sadly, their attitudes are a reflection of the society surrounding them. Society did not show them any acts of kindness, and they are bound to respond with revolting selfishness, and the cycle goes on.
That is why the world is what it is today.
In a world where Covid-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe, with disadvantaged families going to bed on empty stomachs, there are several ways to make it all better.
A Zimbabwean boy, Zoolian Karendo, recently touched the hearts of many in the country after a video in which he was lamenting about over-reliance on sweet potatoes went viral on social media. He was craving something as basic as bread.
In a development that has divided the country, with some arguing that Zoolian is now being exploited by marketers, several companies moved with speed to locate the boy and shower him with gifts ranging from breakfast goodies, WiFi, books, and school fees. Some are also going to be supplying him with LP gas!
He got what he asked for and more.
Hopefully the little boy is also getting the big bucks for being plastered on all those advertising posters.
From the look of things, the boy will be enjoying a healthy breakfast for quite some time.
His educational needs are well taken of and with such a foundation, he is well set to become a compassionate citizen who is aware that many other people are patiently waiting for such acts of kindness.
Indeed, one good deed leads to another. Zoolian is not the only good story unfolding in Zimbabwe. Of late, the country has been seeing a lot of these random acts of kindness.
In Chitungwiza, a lockdown relief kitchen run by philanthropist Ms Samantha Muzokori and her partners has been providing free meals to an average of 1 600 vulnerable people in the dormitory town on a daily basis.
Considering that the country’s economy is largely informal, many people’s vulnerabilities have been exposed during the national lockdown as they are not able to do their informal jobs and provide food for the family.
Therefore early in the morning, Ms Muzokori prepares porridge for the children and then prepares supper for hungry families.
“I started with a 2kg packet of rice and 500g of beans. The number of people needing food has since shot up. When my money ran out, l started bartering food supplies with my clothes,” she is on record saying.
After posting images of her initiative on WhatsApp, her friends and family chipped in to help her out, before the Zimbabwean community got wind of it through Twitter and Facebook.
Locals and people from across the world have since joined in, with others sending money and supplies.
In Epworth, the same initiative is gathering momentum after two women only identified as Carol and Sandra decided to open their own relief kitchen.
The two women are vendors who are sacrificing the little they have to serve porridge and dinner to more than 250 children.
In one video, an emotional Carol weeps as she explains that after seeing some children rummaging through expired food stuffs that had been discarded by a supermarket, her heart broke and she vowed to extend her helping hand.
However, with the duo’s stocks depleting as the number of vulnerable children visiting their kitchen double every day, Carol appealed for assistance from the Zimbabwean community. Once again, Zimbabwe has not disappointed the passionate women. Donations have been pouring in and the pair has been putting smiles on the faces of hundreds of hungry people.
Now, with so many avenues to do well, we do not have to waste our precious time asking, “Why is the world not a better place?” The question to ask is, “How can l make it better?”