Sometimes, when you look into the eyes of desperation, you wonder what the downtrodden might be able to do to help themselves – and others.
In my novel What’s Left, her family has the resources to make some things happen, but they’re small fry in the face of the bigger issues. Here’s a passage I trimmed from the final version of the story:
Baba, of course, retreats earlier by heading to the monastery, just as all the big moves start unfolding. He returns to a different world, apart from the family core – and its true love.
Not that everybody’s talented. Barney and even Dimitri come up with odd jobs for the vagabonds who materialize around the loading docks of restaurants … the aimless hippie, too … and rather than a handout, Can you lend a hand? You know, scrubbing or raking or sweeping or helping move supplies from a delivery van – anything that then might lead to a free meal or spending the night in Barney’s old car. If we don’t have something at the restaurant, maybe there’s something else to do around Mount Olympus.
Oh, I’m so glad she stopped talking like this! In the final version, she’s pretty snippy.
I really do wish I had answers. Maybe we need to start small. Any suggestions for Barney and Dimitri in the novel, like helping unpack a truck or sweeping the walk?
What do you do to help others? Not family, but the wider community?