Last week I took a walk through Philadelphia with my family and an old friend of mine. She gave us a wonderful guided tour of a city that I had never been to prior. Before arriving, my husband and I talked about the things that remind us of Philly. These three things came to my mind: my kind hearted friend of whom I have known since my youth, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Bruce Springsteen.
I thought about Springsteen’s song, “On the streets of Philadelphia” while we passed by the many sad faces that live their lives homeless to the streets. I thought about how terrible to be living in such conditions, and I thought about what we could do to prevent such poverty, as it is an epidemic spreading across our nation’s borders.
As we walked the streets, we were shown not just the tragedy in the city, but the beauty too–such things that hold great historical significance to America’s “Land of the Free”, such as the Liberty Bell and the hall where the Decleration of Independece was signed. The symbols of both hold a heavy weight and responsibility on our nation at large: to provide freedom and liberation to all peoples from all places.
What kind of liberty and independence are we providing for our fellow Americans if so many are slaves to poverty, their children unable to eat? Are we truly fulfilling our promises to the people of this grand nation by providing them with an honest system: a promise for peace and security to all people?
I can’t answer that question alone, and though my heart was saddened as we walked, it was also filled of joy while I felt very blessed to see so many cultural differences walking side by side, creating a combined culture that marked the city with hope.
To wrap up our journey around this great city, how could we leave without a Philly Cheese Steak, of course? In a crowded line I stood to buy one of the famous Philly Cheese Steaks known so well throughout the country.
With the Cheese Steak in hand, I rushed to the train in order not to miss it on our venture to a new city, and though I very much enjoyed the Philly Cheese Steak, I thought how sad it is that I am able to eat when many of my American brothers are not able to do so.
So as we got on and off trains and busses, walking the streets and passing by the hungry, I fed as many as I had food to feed, for I supposed that when we see a problem, we should work on a solution. I thought in order to help my starving, fellow Americans, I could at least start by giving them something to eat. It was a wonderful city, as I learned a lot while I walked the Philadelphia streets.