So, I thought I would explain why I choose to pay car guards.
I don't pay them because they watch over my car. And I don't pay them because they help me reverse. I have insurance, and I can reverse myself.
I pay them because I choose to help them financially. In my books, if any person is willing to stand all day, watching cars, he/she absolutely deserves a “tip” from me.
I pay them because I sympathise with their situation: their past, present, and dismal future.
I pay them, hoping that everyone has the same heart, giving just a few rand to help this poor person earn a couple of thousand rand a month, barely enough for basic food for the family.
I pay them, because I know that I am privileged enough to live well, without needs; wants yes, but no needs. The car guard falls into the “less privileged” bracket and has many needs.
I pay them because I can afford a measly R5 to R10 every time I park, a few times a day. Yes it costs me a few hundred rand a month, but it gives me joy to do my bit in helping someone that needs it.
Lastly, I pay because I have a car; something the car guard will probably never own.
I take pleasure in exchanging my R500 into R5 coins every month, sitting in my car's ash tray, available to dish out to every car guard I encounter, knowing that I once again have the opportunity to give and help, every time I park.
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.