INSP has been asking vendors from across the street paper network to write letters to their 25-year-old self to mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year. Today we hear from Lice v Lice‘s 55-year-old vendor Hasan – who goes by Hari – and the life changing events which led him to where he is now. He sells the magazine in the North Macedonian capital, Skopje.
I’m turning round, going three decades backwards. The year, when I turned 25, is 1989. Back then, I saw the world through rose-tinted glasses, a kind of idealistic point of view, I would say. In my background stood 28 working youth activities, a stable family life and home, a secure job and regular income. I had loyal friends, friendships, meetings and communication. I remember I was full of excitement for the life that I was living, it felt like the whole world was in my hands.
I had the feeling that nothing could break me, and I never expected that some specific events could change my life.
If 25-year-old Hari had had the opportunity to be here and now, he would be disappointed with the world today. He would see a change in interpersonal relationships, the way we humans communicate, the intent with which we do things, the bad economic situation, life in an inadequate environment. Also, a community in which human potential is suppressed.
At the age of 25, I’m sure that Hari appreciated the strong will of people who worked and earned for themselves. The younger Hari would most surely support today’s street paper vendors, although there were not any at that time.
I am thinking. If I could write a letter to the younger Hari, I would say this:
At this moment, I am 55 years old and you are only 25. Appreciate and respect people around you, help the powerless. Be humane to everyone and do not divide people by nationality or religion. Take advantage of every moment of your life, because you do not know what the day or the night could bring. Life is too short. Live it. Enjoy it and, by doing that, let others around you share those experiences. Hear me and understand every word, the intention is pure and it comes from the heart.
I don’t want you to be a homeless person in a city or a community which you engaged yourself in.”
Check back in every day over the festive period for more #VendorLetters.
INSP members can download the #VendorLetters feature on the INSP News Service.