A beautiful, insightful message about an unemployed South African man called Lucas was posted on social media on Tuesday night.
The message was published by Benedict Maaga who’s a director at DKL Communications, and a former Media Relations Manager at South African Breweries, according to his Facebook profile.
Benedict revealed that he’d given a lift earlier to Lucas after he knocked at his front passenger window, and then “pretty much launched himself” into his car.
At first Benedict thought Lucas was a traffic points man trying to give him instructions, but whilst giving Lucas a lift he discovered that the family man and former truck driver is “one of the 10 million unemployed South Africans”.
He has not worked in 10 years.
Lucas hitchhikes as often as he can from Vanderbijlpark so he can try find work “here in the city of gold, where many a dream, like his reflective vest from his trucking days, have been left in tatters”, writes Benedict.
“His daily existence, he tells me, is quite dire. He doesn’t know what, if anything, will be eaten tonight as his wife too is unemployed.
“I took him as far as I could, sending him on his way with the remainder of the packet of apples that lives on my passenger seat, and R100 that I had in my pocket.
“I couldn’t help but be moved by an example of a combination of desperation and hope.
“When as a country we talk about the unemployment of some 10 million people, it’s important to remember that this is the kind of person we are taking about. Someone wanting to eke out an honest living to provide for their family.
“Many of us think there’s nothing we can do, but some of the excesses of our own lives may suggest otherwise.
“No one can be expected to stop and give perfect strangers a lift, especially a man, given the horrendous crime rate in our country.
“My plea however, would be for a little empathy when referring to lazy poor people who unlike us, haven’t worked hard enough to lift themselves up by their bootstraps like us. I have heard more times than I care to remember.
“Let’s be a little kind, as it costs us very little to do so. #bekind #empathy #letsbuildacaringsociety #cityofgold #jozi #brokenpromises”