stolen laptop = broken relationship

4 September 2012

Ben writes...

A young person broke into our office during a drop-insession and stole Joy’s brand new laptop. We know him well, we have known his family for the past 15 years, in fact this young man is a central player in the life of Urban Hope. He probably doesn’t think he is bit when you’ve known someone since they were a toddler, you kind of form a bond. So when he stole the laptop we were GUTTED. I mean devastated, not really because of the loss of a computer – although we were seriously pissed off about that – but because we invest so much of ourselves into building and sustaining relationships with young people and this particular relationship was now damaged, broken, smashed up and we felt as if we had be undone.

Our identity is found in our relationships with others. This isn’t an abstract statement but a present reality for us at Urban Hope. It is the positive intergenerational relationships that flourish here at Urban Hopethat lead to hopeless lives being transformed into hopeful ones. The south African concept of Ubuntu has at it’s core the belief that our humanity is inextricably bound up with the humanity of our neighbour, our well-being found within the well-being of others. This is the vision towards which we work and so when a relationship is broken we hurt, not just because trust is lost and ego’s bruised but because we feel as though we are loosing touch with the very thing that gives us hope.

The theft of the laptop led us to do some serious soul searching. If we (Urban Hope) can know someone for most of their life (to date) and be actively seeking their well-being what is this worth if they can rob a laptop?

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