Didi Ananda Devapriya's Meditation and Yoga Blog

Reflecting on the Freezing Homeless Child Experiment

Many of you may have seen this video that went viral in the past weeks.  If not, watch it first so I won’t spoil it for you..
I first have to say there is something questionable about the older brothers getting their young brother to freeze in the cold for what apparently are hours (!!!) for an experiment. But okay, let’s trust that they didn’t coerce him and that he didn’t get seriously sick or frostbitten from the exposure to cold. I don’t think I could have filmed someone I cared about shivering so intensely. That kid was really cold, not just acting. If it is true that it was -5 Fahrenheit (for those of us living in Europe that means minus 15 degrees Celsius!!), that is not just cold, it is dangerously cold – with frostbite and hypothermia risks that can do permanent physical damage. I can just imagine a mother’s voice shrieking when they all got home “You did what???”

Looking in the Mirror

Of course, it can also be seen as quite strong and brave of him to sacrifice his ordinary, middle-class comfort for a day to make a statement, and the statement is powerful. How many of us have walked right by the invisible homeless?  Do we see our own indifference reflected in the mirror? Or perhaps our own busy lives that keep us so focused on our own stuff that we just don’t have time to stop and deal with the suffering of others. The thought of it overwhelms us, and we hurry past because we don’t have time now. Or do we see our own powerless? Our irritation – why does this problem exist? Why doesn’t someone DO something…..

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