Every time I go to the supermarket, I lose money. I lose money to some migrant that is standing outside the market. How can I not give when they ask? What else can I do?
The late Demirel, the 9th president of Turkey who was called “father” had said “There was gasoline and we drank it?” in response to his critics of the shortage during the 70's crisis. I say a similar thing on behalf of migrants. Were there jobs and they didn't take it? Was there someone willing to pay for their work and they refused? Or more important of all, were they allowed to work in the first place? Governments usually block their chances of getting a job. So what are they supposed to do?
Yes, and I confess, they are fit-and-able-bodied men, the people I give money to. They are people too you know. Besides, they have wives and children to look after. Today I gave one young guy 10 Euros. Just for the sake of helping, for solidarity. Then another came across the road with some merchandise in his hands. He held out a necklace to me. Not that I am interested in anything. But I wanted to help and it was something Lara would have liked. Colorful. I opened up my wallet. There was a 20 Euro bill. I took it out. The guy handed me a bracelet as well. I didn't object. I got that too. But I was going to buy them. 5 Euros was enough. I asked him to give me back 15 Euros. He said “Please”, he said he had a wife and two children. I said “Why did you have two children?” It wasn't a real question, it was just a memorized rhetoric retort. And I didn't ask it in a bad way, why should he not have made children? He wasn't really begging, he didn't expect anybody else to look after his children. He just relied on the goodness of strangers sometimes. That's something we all need and something we need more of. Especially in this environment of hatred and fear-mongering, we need the kindness of strangers and we need to show kindness to strangers.
I left the money. What could I do? What could I do? This is the least I can do.
Ah, you say “Don't give people hand-outs.”
Okay but I say I am defending them, I am on their side. Donating to an organization who helps migrants or rather refugees is one thing, but I help the ones that I come across personally. Doesn't that make sense?
You say “There are many poor Italians. Italians first.”
Yeah but I don't distinguish people according to their origins. I don't have an affinity to any group of people. I don't have nationalistic feelings. What's more, governments are making life harder than necessary for these people. At least I can make it a bit easier. Italians/Locals do not suffer an extra injustice because of their birthplace. Your people, my people, we suffer from a wrong-classification syndrome:
We are all people.