I had a conversation.

I had a conversation with a drug addict.

I’ve never experienced conversing with a person looking directly at me and my only thought being that I could not find the life in those eyes.

On my way home, I was exceptionally grateful for the sheltered life I had lived growing up. Even now as an adult I am still sheltered; seeing what I only want to see – shutting my eyes to the hijacking that may have occurred down the road; to the drug dealers on some vacant land or to the homeless people on each street corner. I am safe in my car and in my home. Shut out from the rest of the world because everything bad that happens only happens on TV.

When I was younger I was obsessed with the news (yes, really). It was when news time was at 8pm (not 7pm yet – can you tell my age?) I remember the 1994 elections and creating a poster on the new South Africa and all the different political parties for school for pure entertainment and for my own interest – side note: I didn’t even live in South Africa… second side note: I now understand why I was bullied.  I do not think at the time I fully understood why it was such a big deal; I thought it was amazing that a new country could be created just like that! Years…many many many years later and I refuse to watch news. I refuse to read it (in fact I only read business news for work purposes) but cannot watch or read the general news because of the negativity. Because it only focuses on what is going wrong (and yes, I know there are many things going wrong) but once in a while, just to keep hope alive and give us all motivation, it would be great to focus on what is going right. On the people who (and I had the fortune of meeting a few) are selflessly trying to change one person’s world at a time. These are the people who inspire me to start looking at my world as it is; the good and the bad and search for how I can make a difference in someone’s world (even if the starting point is just making someone smile! – we all have to start somewhere right?)

I still may not want to read the news (yes, I will start again though…tomorrow maybe) but I hope I’ll be able to see past the doom and gloom and find an opportunity to do something different… and instead of saying “I had a conversation with a drug addict,” I’ll be able to say, “I had a conversation with a person who is a drug addict.” Maybe in that way, if I had then looked into her eyes I would have seen the life that she has in her.

As Rumi said, “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” In this, I know that I may not be able to change the world, and nor in all honesty do I want to, but if I can appreciate the life I do have and the privilege I’ve been given thus far, it may influence another to do the same and in that, we may all end up where we need to be.


  1. I refuse to watch/read the news too. Let’s lobby for one week of positive news and see what a difference it would make. They’d be less misery and it may change someone’s life.

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