I had a couple of chores to be done today.
First – top-up Rene’s EZ-link. And then buy stuff at the supermarket because I’m the chef for tonight’s dinner.
On my way to our neighbourhood central – where all the shops are, I would pass by the void decks of the flats where there are rest areas for residents to hang out. I will usually see some seniors having a chat or just enjoying the outdoors. I would sometimes greet them a simple good morning or, when time permits, have a little chat.
But today when I passed by there was a man sleeping there. He was slumped on the stone table and there was a worn-out backpack beside him. I didn’t give him a second thought because it’s also not uncommon to see some people using the area for siesta.
Chores done and with grocery bags in tow, I passed by the hawker center and bought a packet of lunch for myself. I was craving for something spicy. I bought a rather big helping of rice steamed with coconut milk, a large fried chicken wing, fried egg, cut cucumber and a spicy condiment called ‘sambal’ which is a local meal commonly called ‘Nasi Lemak.’ My salivary glands are activating just describing it!
On my way back home, I passed by the same block of flats. I glanced at the rest area. That man was awake now and was staring into space, his hands coddling a plastic water bottle. By now, you would probably have an image of how he looks like. A displaced person perhaps? I’m trying not to judge on looks but he looked like he hasn’t eaten for a couple of days.
Miss First Thought said, “Give him your lunch.”
I walked a couple of steps. Miss Sponsoring Thought argued, “But I’m really craving for something spicy for lunch.”
Miss First Thought said, “You’re not really hungry. You had a big breakfast. Give him your lunch.”
Miss Sponsoring Thought said, “But this cost me $4.50!”
Miss First Thought, “Do you think that chap has a dollar to his name? Give him your lunch. Besides, there are plenty of left-overs at home.”
Fine! I stopped, turned around and walked the ten or more steps back to the gentleman.
“Uncle, ada makan?” (Do you have anything to eat?) He didn’t reply and just looked at me. I put down the plastic bag of packed lunch and patted it, “Halal. Ini halal.” (You’re judging again, Joy! You don’t even know what race he is…Sorrryyy!)
He said softly, “Thank you.” And I walked off.
That felt so awesome!
But now as I’m writing this, my tummy just growled. Oh well, I better go ransack the fridge for left-overs.
Everything has a purpose.
Purpose #1 – Don’t ignore your first thoughts. Your soul will thank you for it.
Purpose # 2 – Acknowledge people. Make eye contact. Better yet, speak to them. Let them know their existence accounts for something. They are worthy.
Purpose#3 – Be with people. They may need your help.