Finding the middle ground

Nobody needs pity. And they only sometimes need sympathy. Mostly, people need empathy. For me, working in slums is about seeing people with the same labels you see yourself: man, woman, child, sister, brother, mother, student, worker, friend. Not poor or rich. It’s about working alongside them, understanding where they are coming from, but not pretending you are coming from the same place. It’s about keeping one foot out, so you can maintain a perspective that is unique and helpful, but one foot firmly in so you understand them and their views and experiences. And in doing so, all you can hope is that they do the same thing to you – that for them you are just a daughter, mother, sister, friend, worker, human. And not a pile of money. Or a walking solution to their problems.

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