AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE BEGGARS AWAY
By Vincent Lyn
London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. But also a home to a wonderful first-rate childhood, that being said a city that has changed so much in recent decades but still so impressive in all of its pomp and circumstance.
Returning a second time in recent months one of the important meetings I had was at the Embassy of Pakistan so with colleague, restaurateur Ciro Orsini we walked the 15 minutes from his restaurant, Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro. We got there 45 minutes early so decided to wait in the lobby of the luxury 5 Star Jumeriah Lowndes Boutique Hotel strategically situated in Hyde Park.
We received a text from the Embassy to come immediately and so I left the hotel thinking Ciro was right behind me. A few minutes later Ciro walks out with two pink lady apples that he had taken from the counter of the concierge. I quipped what hotel is next and that by the end of the day at this rate I’ll be able set up my own fruit stand in Knightsbridge?
When we finished with the meeting we walked back to Ciro’s restaurant and sat outside. Thirty minutes later a woman walked up to us with a cardboard sign asking for a handout. We ignored her but she stood determined in front of us and so I reached in my bag to give her the apple. She abruptly turned and walked away as if I was handing her a grenade. The Embassy First Secretary Shahid showed up and sat down with us. We ordered some drinks and food and once again, this time a man walks up with his arms outstretched begging for food. So, yet again like before I reached into my bag and offered him the pink lady apple. Only this time he opened his mouth as wide as he could showing us the only two teeth he had on either side of his mouth. He looked at us making a gesture with his hands letting us know that it was physically impossible for him to eat a crisp apple. We would have had to literally put it in a blender and make it into apple sauce. He also walked away and we all couldn’t help but laugh. It was priceless. I thought of encasing the apple in glass — “break only in case of emergency,” but instead I ate it for breakfast:-)
We can only help so many and even then only if they really want to be helped. I’ll never look at an apple the same way again.
CEO & Founder of We Can Save Children
Deputy Ambassador of International Human Rights Commission
Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization
Economic & Social Council at United Nations
Editor-in-Chief at Wall Street News Agency
Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts