I didn’t know where to start with this song, but when I found out they have a music video that tells the story of the RCK (Refugee Community Kitchen), I decided to let them tell the story. Before reading another word, watch the video. You’ll have to read some, so I’ll see you after the video is over.
Hey guys, welcome back. First off, let me get the part of the post where I talk about the vocals, instrumentation, etc. out of the way because I know that’s not what The FEDZ are really focused on with this song. In fact, they believe in what RCK is doing so strongly, that they are donating part of the profits from this song to the organization so they can continue to feed displaced families in need. (Link to buy the song) With tight tenor vocals and minimal piano leading the way, they set the stage for the song by making you focus on the words. The most beautiful part of the arrangement to me though is the gospel choir style gang vocals in the chorus. It really gives life to this story about the plight of the homeless and the refugee and the detrimental cycle life can take when they just need a break. It lets you know that this isn’t a story about a specific homeless person or a refugee, but a story about ALL homeless people and refugees.
The word of the day is humanity. Remember that.
Now, let’s get into the lyrics of the song. It starts out by getting you to think about what you see when you see a homeless or displaced person, and it’s pretty startling. I, admittedly, have been as guilty as anyone when see a homeless person. I see someone, and without knowing their story, try to label them: drug addict, alcoholic, lazy, and the list goes on and on. Even if they are one or all of those things, it doesn’t make them any less of a person. It makes me less of a person when I try to elevate myself above another person. The world needs more people to lean down to help them out.
They talk about someone taking a bad turn and all of a sudden, they’ve fallen down a slippery slope into their current unfortunate circumstance. I can specifically remember two times in my life where if I had taken the red pill, who knows what would’ve happened? I have stood on the edge of that slippery slope, and because of the cornerstones of my life, the community I surrounded myself with, and the values I was taught by loving parents, I staved off temptation, took the blue pill, and woke up in my own bed. Most people don’t have that support in their life, so straying down the wrong path is much easier. Nobody goes straight from an average joe with 2.5 kids, the white picket fence, and everything going in an upward trend to living on the streets in one day. There are a series of unfortunate events that lead up to that point.
I have an anecdotal story about refugees that I thought would be appropriate here that echoes the points made in “The Traveller.” I know someone who works very closely with refugees in Central Asian countries; offers them shelter and support, gets them acclimated to life in a new country, helps them navigate the hardships of refugee life. I had the opportunity to visit my friend and see what life looks like for them. We ate dinner one evening with a family who had been displaced from their home not because they wanted to move, but because if they didn’t run, they could be murdered. Back in their country, they lived in a two story home, and they owned a nut farm where they grew and sold various nuts to people all over the country. This family consisted of 6 people: a mother well into her 60’s, a father who was the same age, a son in his 30’s, a daughter in her 20’s, a son with debilitating cerebral palsy, and a 3 year old granddaughter. To escape their country, they literally had to carry the son with cerebral palsy in incredible heat. They now live in a one room cement shack on the roof of a building. Life changed for them in an absolutely dramatic way, and it had nothing to do with any choices that they personally made.
They are viewed as second rate citizens in a country where they can claim asylum and wait out the storm, but you could never tell they had even seen a rain cloud. They were some of the happiest and most generous people I’ve ever met in my life. We are not defined by what happens to us, but how we handle what happens to us.
Make someone’s life easier today. Give that homeless guy a warm meal. Give RCK money so they can keep giving warm meals.