I was walking down on one of the busiest streets near my neighborhood. I needed to get fresh inspiration to finish a writing project I was working on. Like most people, I believe that a walk to the park will send inspirations knocking on my door. Above all, I needed a break from my work and catch up with my surroundings which I have lost touch for the past couple of weeks.
Without holding a pen and having a paper to jot down my thoughts, each encounter was vividly recorded in my memory, as if this day makes a great history in my life, when I look back perhaps 50 or 60 years from now.
What’s the significance? One may ask? Let’s reason out for a moment. Many of us, including myself, would classify ourselves as trend followers. Of course many would want to be trend setters but only a few will rise and become influential. For me, any happenings that change my mindset towards a trend I have faithfully abided will call for an awakening moment. Let me share the encounters of my day and perhaps you may catch the essence of it.
It was rather a sunny day where the sun rose steadily, with striking rays beaming across the many faces of people rushing here and there. What’s the rush? One may ask. It’s livelihood, a routine we had to follow in pursuit for the sole medium to live, money. As I was walking pass a bus station, I inevitably noticed faces of the working class.
Their expressions truly speak of the emotions that began their day. Majority were tired, bored and weary. I wondered what they were thinking about. Is life really tough and rough to get going? You should stop for a while and ponder too.
Then, I stopped by a coffee house to enjoy a cup of aromatic brew coffee and freshly baked croissant, a breakfast which I rarely get to enjoy. As I was sipping my Arabica coffee, my eyes were looking at this little girl. She looked frail and tired from her walk. She must have walked for quite some time. I looked at my watch, most children like her age will be at school right now. Coincidentally, I heard the sounding of a school bell from a school that is just miles away.
Unlike the other children, she started her day trading her school time with selling packets of tissue. She walked from table to table, asking if people would buy a packet of tissue from her. Although the return is not much, but it means livelihood to her impoverish family. As I was drawing out a dollar to pay for the tissue, I pondered for a while, life indeed is tough and rough to get going.
The croissant tastes great with butter and jam. It reminded me of my younger days where mom would prepare freshly baked pastries for breakfast. Thoughts about my mom overwhelmed me as I slowly walked towards a traffic light. I remember how hard she has worked for our family after dad died of terminal illness when we were very young. On schooling days, she will hold us and teach us to cross the roads. Odd jobs were the occupation she chose as it gave her flexibility to care for us.
I hardly recall any day when we were hungry. Although we never had much toys to play with, but we had a great childhood with fond and loving memories. On her 70th birthday, which was her last birthday, we gave her a grand party to thank her for the sacrifices made. I remembered kissing her cheeks and noticed the scar on her face. The incident happened many years ago when she was trying to save me from a fire which set out in our two room apartment. As tears flowed, I pondered for a while, life indeed is tough and rough to get going.
I crossed the traffic light and continued walking. I can’t help but to recall what I observed this morning. The scene of the working class going to work, a compassionate moment of seeing a needy girl trading her precious time to feed her family, and of course an emotional remembrance of my loving mom. Life indeed is tough and rough to get going. Living and money is a reality. Some have it more abundantly and many lack money to get the day pass without hunger or pain in their weakening bodies.
My awakening moment came when I realized that beyond the toil and tribulation of life, something greater thrives in the lives of these people. It is “Courage” to persevere in the tough and rough moments of our lives. I have learned a great life lesson today. It reminds me not to complain when I am caught in a traffic jam. It teaches me to give when I have more than enough to meet my basic needs. It teaches me that no problem is as devastating as taking one’s own life as long as we cling on. “Remember to cling on to hope, cling on to faith and never say die, my dear daughter”, these were the last words spoken to me moments before my mom left us.
When I reached home, I took a pen and started writing. What a fresh and great inspiration I had today! Indeed, it is an awakening day which I will never forget.