Danny Oosthuizen, #TheDignityProject ambassador, in his weekly column for the Cape Argus tackles the struggles homeless people face. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
Forgiveness is a powerful word. We forgive, but we cannot forget.

I’ve disappointed so many people I’ve met in my life. I’ve failed their expectations, hopes and well-wishes.

I lived life (maybe I should say abused). I drifted to the other side of the line to God’s forgotten children. But here I thrived and found my purpose. While the rest of the world build their walls higher, I broke down barriers between people. While they had sleepless nights about paying for this and that, I was roaming the streets, looking for that lost soul with nothing to eat, and finding a safe spot for them to sleep.

To “skarrel” for a blanket, plastic sheet or a box to help them keep warm. I went right up to the dealer’s house to save another from being beaten up due to money not being paid on time. I spent night after night at Somerset Hospital just so that the user didn’t run away before he received treatment. I went to church on Greenmarket Square and there on the steps I had many nightly conversations with God - and stressed to the devil that evil will never prevail.

Give the poor souls a break. After all, he is nothing but a liar, cheat and thief. “Vade satanas!” I feel sad most of the time. That little dark spot in my soul just never dissolves. Like a shadow, it follows me. At least I know when it is about to come out and play. And it never plays fair.

We, humans, are a strange bunch. To hell, the sex worker, drug user and “bergie” must go. All hail the priest, doctor and teacher. The pastor is in court for sexual harassment and rape. The doctor prescribes codeine cough syrup to an elderly lady and lo and behold “Hi! My name is xxx and I am an addict” The teacher is found guilty of sexually abusing pupils for years

Yes, we put our trust in a label, not the person. We place people on a pedestal and when they fail us, we show resentment and hate. The single mom needed support. Got none. Now she sells her body so her baby can eat. There is a hero in all of us. But even heroes can get lost along the way. Our expectations of others must be fair. After every hurricane comes a rainbow and for some a little too late.

* Danny Oosthuizen is the #TheDignityProject ambassador. In his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus, he tackles the struggles homeless people face. Connect with Danny on Facebook and on Twitter @masekind3213 or via email: [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus