Personal Blog #3: Eyes Closed

Yesterday I was part of a sad scene and for a few seconds I felt hopeless, without power to believe that some situations can be modified.

One of my jobs is working as a Brand Ambassador, promoting different products. Many clients always believe that sampling is the best way to catch their target. Therefore, the patron contracts Brand Ambassadors to go out in the street do distribute samples of the products. In other words give away free stuff for people to try.

When I woke up yesterday, I did not expect that my free sample distribution would turn into a chaotic scene.

I arrived at my spot, a busy corner near the metro in Chinatown, Washington DC, and started handing out product samples as usual . There were five of us giving out little packs of instant coffee . Everything was fine until a big group of people started to gather around us and ask for more than on sample each. We usually give out one or two maximum per person. However, this day we had to change the rules. The crowd was not happy with just one or two samples and they were pushing for more and more.

I had maybe ten people around me holding their backpacks, and grocery bags. All of them grabbing for more products. The situation got out of my control and I had to walk away because more people were getting together and started taking the products themselves by force.

An older man got close to me and pushed me to the side. It did not hurt me or anything but made me feel threatened. Once he did that he ran away with a box full of samples. After I stepped to the side another men shouted, “She is away from the box” and in less than two seconds I watched this group of people fighting over the product samples. Many of then had their bags full but still they wanted more.

I couldn’t do anything. I just stood there watching. A sad feeling came over me, and I had no reaction. Everything happened so fast, one minute they were there almost killing each other and the next minute just empty boxes on the floor.

I`ve seen many scenes in my life but yesterday was different. I can`t explain, but I know that it was.

After that I just packed my things and went back home. On my way home I was thinking that we all live in our own boxes and sometimes stepping into a different box can be scary. When I say boxes, I mean our little worlds. We all have our own issues and life to deal with so we don`t have time to care for the social problem that are out there. What I saw was just the tip of the iceberg. Our society has many bigger problems.  I know that many of us try to change and make things better but still it’s not sufficient. The reality is that most people are just walking in their own boxes with their eyes closed not seeing that many people need help, they are hungry, they are cold, they are helpless.

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