Saturday, May 7, 2011

It was noon time. The Advanced Chemistry class I was taking just ended. I went outside with my friend. Then as we got out the door, a woman was there. She was carrying a baby who has got no clothes on. Their faces were streaked with dirt and the woman had a ratty shirt on and a piece of cloth that she somehow made into a skirt. She got her palms reached out, asking for some money. So my friend and I gave her some. Then we started to walk away. Just like people do every time. But we barely walked ten steps and then two other women who were also carrying babies like the other woman, approached us, held out their palms and asked for money. We couldn’t move since they easily blocked our way in the narrow sidewalk. My friend dug into her bag and got some coins. I got some from my wallet too, but then instead of a mere one peso or five pesos (which is what I intended to give) I got a ten peso coin instead. I was going to return it to my wallet since I’ve been saving that for my fare because drivers usually don’t have change. But then the woman literally grabbed it from my hand then she just smiled and said “Salamat…” (Thank You). I was…let’s say, shocked. So on a whim, I grabbed my friend then as if right on cue, the red light glowed and we crossed the street. We were already on the other side of the road when the woman called out to say “Salamat...” again. And she was smiling. Streaked with dirt with a naked baby in her arms and walking barefoot on a hot road…she was smiling.

For some of us, ten pesos means a ball pen, which we end up losing after a few days. For some of us it’s a cool drink of soda that on some days we can’t even finish and it ends up on the trash. And before, with ten pesos I could buy a donut for snacks. But for them, ten pesos means a whole lot more. We may not know it, but it could maybe feed them for a week. Maybe it could buy them clothing for their babies or maybe just a bottle of water that they end up sharing with their family. At some point in our lives we may come to think that life is so hard on us. As the saying goes “Life sucks. Then you die.” Well, yeah. Life is not an easy path to walk through. But for some people, like those women, they have to walk this path barefoot. With no protection or knowledge whatsoever to at least keep them prepared for what‘s up ahead of the road, good or bad. There are those days when I succumb to my own selfishness and I walk around with the thought that everything’s so unfair. It’s unfair because I can’t have this and that or because there are so many things I can’t do yet. Or because I have this abnormality in my back and I have to walk around with a bulky body brace. But what never crossed my mind on those moments is that kid, who once knocked on our door to ask for food. He was so hungry yet his parents can’t feed him. Or that man who once came to our house asking for help. He had this disease and he needed money for operation and meds. His stomach was so bloated and he told my mother not to let us, the kids, near him because of his condition. It’s so easy to forget about those times. But then it’s so hard to remember especially when we are caught up in our own lives. But it wouldn’t hurt to remember, wouldn’t it? To think about how they came to us, complete strangers, for help. How they knew people would help them and took every chance they got. Try to see yourself in their shoes. How you have this weight on your shoulders. How does it feel to be on the other side? It kinda stings, right? Then think about how they would willingly help you. That’s how they see you, on the other side…their side.

It wouldn’t hurt to offer a hand and help them.

1 comment:

  1. That's cool that she stole 10 pesos from you to make her life better. I would've been pissed, but that's just me. I understand the idea behind it, but in all probability the money is not going to her child (hopefully it is).

    Anyways I like your story, I like the design of the blog, so I'll follow you.

    Keep your money safe man, you never know when you'll need it.