Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Can Panhandling Replace Life Insurance?

Now that no one has died I think I should bring this topic else people start to call me heartless for raising an issue while there is still a corpse on the floor. There are people who die here and their friends and relatives want the community to contribute money so that their corpses should be shipped home. That is common with people who stand by the roadside with a plate in hand begging for money for survival. The term panhandling sounds like someone is involved in an invention rather than someone begging for money in the street. So I will use the word begging only.

When an individual dies and people start to beg, you must remember they have the leeway to the fund thenceforth. Anyone with a contrary opinion; opportunists and swindlers say he or she is heartless because it will be standing on their way to riches. They are not fighting for the dead and their family but for their individual interest. Why would anyone be heartless simply because they tell you that begging should not be turned into a Cameroonian or African artifact?

Contrary to the others who claim that a fund be instituted and the money controlled, I believe no fund should be instituted. If anyone lives as if there is no tomorrow, there should be none. One of his fears was that even if we had to dispose of the corpse it will still be expensive. There are many ways we can dispose of the corpse without spending a dime. We could either donate it for medical purposes or just do not claim it and sign a disclaimer. The government and academic institutions would be glad to take it. After all, it is a mere corpse.

Sometimes I hear about someone who has been living here for one year and working, up to acquiring a “hero status”, yet the said individual has no life insurance. Then there are those who have come to the United States to retire: I mean those who helped the Cameroonian government to be bankrupt, and they don’t have life insurance. Those should be treated like the first case.

However, if someone came here for a visit, or for medical treatment and they died, we are morally bound to make any contributions that would take the corpse home. I have sat aback and watched Cameroonians callously exploit their own compatriots with the various institutions they form with the pretext of developing the community; meanwhile, it is to enrich themselves. Even those collections in most cases are to enrich certain individuals. Whoever told you the defunct wanted to make the said individuals rich? Sometimes we raise up the argument that it is to help the kids. How many times did you as a friend or relative ever helped those same kids before the individual died? The reason again for this begging is because some individuals want to make themselves community icons. Nobody was ever known for helping the dead but the living.

It is most at times sad to see someone who has been a blessing to the community get sick and is struggling with their medical bills, but they are abandoned to walk the dreary road of life tediously plagued with trials and temptations leaving him or her with an ephemeral enjoyment. We all know that no matter what type of insurance you have in most states, the bill is always cumbersome for the patient. We should not put into abeyance calls for support until someone dies then we saunter with pomp in our regalia and plumes, dancing and weeping in our Bacchic revelry, reciting eulogies upon eulogies on what a hero he was.

Why are we waiting for people to die first before we celebrate their greatness and “hero status”. Oh my people, why don’t we ever think about someone when they are alive? You say you do. I know you do. Those who think about the living think about palliating their burdens and giving them a life they did not have.

Those who will remain in the annals of history are those who set the oppressed free, those who catered for real widows and widowers, those who showed compassion to orphans and the poor. No human: living or dead should be showed favor he or she could acquire but rejected. We do not teach people by shooting them on the head but what about their toes. Until we start to teach Cameroonians by shooting their toes (abandoning their copses), the living will never learn.

Until then, think of me while I live.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.


“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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