It was our lunch break earlier today. I took my chance and went out of our school to buy some candies that I will be putting on loot bags for tomorrow’s Christmas party. I was conscious about the time because I only had an hour, including the driving time from Samal to Orani, to purchase all the things I need and get back to school before one o’clock in the afternoon.
I managed to save time by skipping lunch and was able to shop for candies in a well-known supermarket at the town of Orani. While waiting in line at the counter, I couldn’t help but notice this old man wearing a black shirt. From his looks you can see that he is lacking in hygiene. His beard grew down his chin as if they were a product of years of struggles on how to survive. He carries in his right hand a half-full plastic bag of approximately two-kilogram rice.
When the old man was lined up to the counter, the sales representative told him that the amount of rice he has purchased was 98 pesos. The poor old man was out of words. I watched him as he struggled to utter a statement to the sales representative. I saw fear and anxiety in his eyes.
“Kulang pala ang pera ko. Paano kaya yan?” (I don’t have enough money. How would it be?), says the old man.
The cashier responded with a question,
“Magkano po ba ang pera ninyo ‘tay?” (How much do you have there?)
“Singkwenta lang pala ang pera ko.” (I only have fifty pesos.) said the old man as he starts to worry about the situation.
It was a pain in the eye for me to watch a man of such age having no idea of how would he be able to take home a bag of rice with only fifty pesos remaining in his pocket. It was a heart-breaking scenario. One that would make you think how lucky you are for not experiencing the same situation as the old man was going through.
That time, I was the one next in line after him and to my pity, I said…
“Tay, kunin mo na po yang bigas.” (Take your bag of rice.)
I told the cashier that I’ll pay for the old man’s rice. I just thought that a hungry family might be waiting for him and besides, it was just a little amount for someone who has a job and who is lucky enough to have food to eat in the table.
I saw the joy in the old man’s eyes as he found out that I paid for his rice. It was a very rewarding experience. As the old man takes his bag of rice, he bade goodbye to me with a smile on his face.
A family has eaten lunch. A rare smile opened up from the troubled face of an unfamiliar old man. I felt good. I knew that somehow, I made a difference.
I wrote this post not to highlight what I did. In fact, I don’t usually disclose to anybody the things that I do for other people. The purpose why I decided to blog about this one is to once again remind how lucky you are, how blessed you are for having all the stuff you need, for being healthy, for having a job be it well-compensating or not, for being able to enjoy living the life as you want it to be, and for not being a prison of hopelessness and poverty.
What’s in it for us? What do I want to imply? I say none. But since ’tis the season for giving, why not try to make a little act of kindness whenever you can. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the most difference in the lives of other people.