Danny Oosthuizen, #TheDignityProject ambassador, in his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus tackles the struggles homeless people face. Picture: David Ritchie
Danny Oosthuizen, #TheDignityProject ambassador, in his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus tackles the struggles homeless people face. Picture: David Ritchie

Danny's Diary: We have the tools to make meaningful change

By Danny Oosthuizen Time of article published Dec 6, 2018

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It is human nature to do good. In other words, to do the right thing comes easier to the mind than doing something that is bad.

But who decides what is right and what is wrong? We all desire to be loved and respected. But many of us fail to do what we expect other people to do. We take our “friends” for granted - including people we interact with on Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media.

The list goes on. In reality, these people only know what we want them to know.

The real truth very seldom gets out in the open. Personally, people don’t know I suffer from depression. Most of my “friends” are not aware that I can speak German. And very few know about my struggle with substance use.

Sometimes when some truths about us come to light they make some of our “friends” very uncomfortable. Is it because they also have issues they grapple with?

As I grew up I created my own constitution - it was about “LIVE, and LET live”.

One wastes so much time focusing on other people’s flaws. This isn’t necessary. There is beauty in all of us. We must allow others space where they can be whatever it is that makes them functional, happy and hopefully content.

Out of all the people living in our city, homeless people are the most misunderstood.

Members of the public have this perception about us, and most of the time they are wrong. The easiest way to live our lives is to be true to ourselves - and to reflect this truth to the world.

All of it.

Yes, we risk the possibility of losing “friends” here and there, but in the end you sit with a couple of good people in your life. Those are the real friends.

I am many things to many people. But by living a lie I am not only wasting my time but others’ time as well. And when our truth serves no purpose in another person’s life, that is also fine. We cannot be liked by all.

To become serious about life after being on the streets we ask ourselves “What are we doing?”

We wake up while it is still dark, we work for an hourly rate just to be broke again.

We are slaves to money. Going to church on a Sunday for an hour is such a mission, sometimes we postpone it. Most people out there have no quality of life.

When was the last time you spoke to your mother? You can’t even remember. You and your partner spend no quality time together anymore.

The children crave your attention, but for now, extra pocket money should keep them busy. We can change all of this. We have the tools to do so.

All that is needed is to use what God gave us.

* 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

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