Rainy Day Musings
Unplanned trips seem to be the most successful ones, and today is no exception. I was thinking of waiting till Saturday to have my last wisdom tooth extracted, but an opportunity presented itself today and I grabbed it. So, accompanied by Angie, we went to her mom’s (the dentist). On the way there as we were walking, we passed by an old homeless man with a cart, and as we got closer I noticed he was using a big rock to pound on a nail near the handle, trying to fix his quite run-down push-cart. I didn’t give this much notice as my mind was set on having my last wisdom tooth pulled out and being done with all of it. Throughout the extraction procedure, I was quite amused as to how the Dentist was avidly gesturing and talking lively about a little misunderstanding she met on the way to the clinic. Needless to say, I had my tooth pulled out, accompanied by an accessory tooth which had no business being where it was. On the way back, we passed by the homeless man again, and though he was finished hammering on the nail, he was now crouching down on the other side of the push-cart, fixing something near the wheels. Looking closely, I saw that most of his worldly belongings were in that cart, like his clothes, his baggage and such. Feeling a bit sad for him, but unable to do anything, I moved on.
So on the way home while on the jeep, I was pondering on the pitiful condition of the homeless man. Though lacking most of the basic needs, he seemed to persevere and push through with life, almost like he had long accepted what was in store for him. In a way, I was in awe of him, pushing through without complain. So as I went down the jeep and up the overpass, I again noticed another pitiful sight. A middle-aged man without his right limb, his foot, and with a big scar on his head which looked like it was bashed in, was sitting on the steps begging for alms. I saw how a lot of people, mainly well-to-do “polished” girls and most of the guys were giving him a wide berth, as if afraid of being contaminated. If the poor man had raised his head at that moment, and if I would have looked, I might have seen resignation, a look so pitiful it would have moved hearts. But as I passed, he did not even move his head. I feel bad I was not able to even give him a few coins for I had none at that time.
So down the other set of stairs, then walking a few meters, I passed by a man who was lifelessly sorting through a garbage can. In his hand he held a plastic bag with a few tidbits of what I could only guess as leftovers. Finding nothing worth salvaging, he moved on. In my head, I entertained the thought of going up to that man and taking him to a nearby canteen where he would at least be able to eat. But those were just thoughts, and I never acted upon them.
Feeling a bit sad, I finally managed to get on yet another jeepney, this one to take me closer to home. As we were waiting to fill up with passengers, I notice a brown-skinned woman carrying a baby board the jeep. She was bringing a wide-mouth plastic jar. She looked haggard and worn out. My first thought was that she also begs for alms, and when I saw her count the coins from the meager pile in her purse, I truly felt sorry for her. Not a long while after, as we were on our way, her baby started to cry and she gingerly lifted up her shirt and exposed her breast to the baby, gently shushing him as he fed. It entered my mind that no matter what the situation, a mother will always care for her child first and foremost, without thinking of herself. It actually made me think of my mom, and how she would always help us with what we need, giving us what we want, without a thought for herself.
Finally we arrived and I took my final ride home. I could have walked, but in my musings I could not keep a sharp lookout for my things, seeing as there was a lot more people in the area than usual, and I didn’t want to exert myself since I just had a tooth extracted. So I took a ride in Mang Danny’s sidecar. I always chose to ride in his sidecar, and if he is not around, then I walk. He was kinda my chauffeur since last year, he would not increase his price even if most people do, and for that I’m grateful. His little kid tagged along and soon we were off. I wasn’t really paying attention to the traffic outside, being deep in thought. But then as we passed a bridge, I noticed that it was already starting to drizzle. My first thought was that every time I had a tooth pulled out, sometime later, it would always rain. The second one was that we should go somewhere and stop, since Mang Danny’s Sidecar has no over-head cover for the driver. But being me, I did not voice my thoughts out. Little by little the rain started to increase in strength and Mang Danny asked his son to ride inside with me, which I did not argue on since it was spacious inside. As we stopped for a while, with the rain continuing to pour down. Within minutes, Mang Danny was soaked. Though not caring for his own well-being, he hurriedly got down from his side, circled around to mine and hurriedly put on a cover near the entrance to the sidecar to prevent me from getting wet. In truth, I did not mind getting a bit wet, and I’m pretty sure a bit of water wouldn’t kill me or turn me into a puddle of goo, but I obliged and helped him put it up. So all throughout that ride, I was thinking of how selfless he was, even though it was for the sake of his job. I pondered how there was a lot of people like that homeless man, and that disfigured man who was fighting an uphill battle to survive. I know they are everywhere, but it seems that most turn a blind eye to them.
Is our society that conceited to quarrel over petty problems like who got a better share of what in this or that deal, when everywhere they look, there are people barely able to survive. Every politician talks about how they will improve the country, but I’m not too sure if any of the “beneficiaries” actually benefited from their projects. All talk and no work. Doing things only when the media is around. I f this is how our government works, then what more will be left for this country?
As I take a final overview in the things I saw today, I feel bad that most of the time, I would feel bad for myself, thinking that what I have is never enough, without giving a second thought that there are more people who would have been happy to have just a part of what I have. I guess I am lucky I have this much, and that we are able to buy those things we WANT, not NEED.
I guess today was just one of the few times that I actually try to look at the bigger picture in life, and not focusing on myself or my needs. This feeling is so hard to remember, yet so easily lost, that most of us spend a big part of our life never giving a thought to what others may feel like. So I guess today was worth it. I learned a few things, shared some, and most of all, gained a deeper understanding of how our life here in this country works.