The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau.
Life is a deep well of mysteries that are yet to be solved and a bottomless pit of discoveries waiting to be found. Some people stumble upon the many intricacies of finding the answers to a whirlpool of questions, and there are always those who would content themselves into taking in everything without so much as raising a brow. It is a puzzle with a missing piece. A missing piece continuously searched to complete the picture and finally lead men to understand the unfathomable and the profound. But it seems that each has varied conception of the real essence of this ambiguity called life, thus, they go through the whole journey with varied means.
People deal with each day in many ways. Some would rant and rave and blame anything they get their eyes on for what they got. Others would lift their head high and meet their downfall with an unwavering heart, too proud to utter a complaint or simply resigned to their unfortunate fate. A few won’t surrender without giving a fight, and even rarer are those who win the match. Some would never stop until they get what they want and reach the very top, only to realize that none of those really mattered.
There are always those who would dwell in the world of grandeur, glitz and glamour, surrounding themselves with legions of admirers and drowning in the heady taste of fame and prominence. Some would go out of their way to stand out from the typical, defying convention and doing anything they please, regardless of supposed-to-be white-laced reputation and public image. And others are just too caught up in the hardships of life they don’t even have the luxury to take a deep breath and admire the blue of the sky or the velvet feel of raindrops on their skin.
Life has many facets, and we see them in the faces of different people everyday, that is, if we care enough to look closer and think beyond our selfish needs.
There is the old, wrinkled man on the sidewalk, holding out his hand to countless of passers by, asking mutely for a little blessing of a coin of two, just enough to buy him a luxury of a meal for the day. One can see the strain of fatigue and hopelessness in his rheumy eyes; lines were etched on his weary face scarred by time and poverty; and deep inside, where no eyes could see and no ears could hear are the untold agony he suffered alone. And when you look at him, really look at him, your heart will break for there’s a man engulfed with despair but trying desperately to hide his pain from the rest of the world, and at the same time, endure the fear of humiliation as he throw away pride and all, begging from people who are unfortunately too caught up with their own struggles to even spare him a glance of pity.
Some would indeed give him a look, but it’s a look of exasperation and disdain, silently condemning him in their mighty minds and blaming him for his lack of ability to survive without groveling in some sidewalk and being a nuisance on such a busy day. It’s as rare as a rainbow in a storm-drenched sky to find a man with a kind heart to notice a needy fellow, and share his blessing with pure and selfless intention. Others would take a look around him, notice the people who sees them and drop a paper bill to the waiting hand, satisfied to the point of gloating because they were seen doing a good deed for the day. And there’s the great and prominent man, basking in his glory to rule and lead those beneath him, took one look at the beggar and decided right there and then what an eyesore he became to his beloved, fast-developing city and gave an order to prohibit anyone from giving any kind of help.
Many are smooth-talkers who care so much about how people see them that they join all sorts of foundation and outreach program because it helps to build up their image to the public eyes, promising the world to those who are naïve enough to believe and pledge to bring them what they have always been waiting for-change. But when they were shrouded from the flash of cameras and wide, admiring eyes, they went on with their merry way, treating their inferiors like dirt and walking through their perfectly carpeted pavement with their nose in the air, spending their fortunes without second thoughts to petty and extravagant things, uncaring that there are millions out there who died out of famine and aggression and even more who continuously suffer the lash of this vast, cruel world. Most people will invest on the tangible things-fast cars, sprawling mansions, latest gadgets and always, expanding their millions so they will be hailed as one of those outstanding individuals who made it to the very top.
It’s just sad, when you really think about it. There are countless people around the globe who only live day by day, their minds filled with worries- whether they could have at least a meal a day, a piece of bread to appease their raging hunger, a corner in the road to sleep for the night.
I see them everyday. They are everywhere. I wish I could do something more, something more than dropping a couple of coins in their tin cans and looking at them with a heavy heart. I wish I can make a difference, let them feel for a day, or even just an hour, that they don’t need to worry about anything…that they can take a rest in a decent home, away from the scorching sun with a feast for their growling stomach. I wish I can give them the chance to see the beauty of the world, past their inner pain and suffering. I wish I can see a twinkle of happiness in their eyes, instead of the bleak resignation in their depths.
It’s pathetic, because I’m pretty helpless at this point. I’m no Robin Hood, not even a passable Good Samaritan. There’s still a part of me who cling to the thought that the reality of life is not this harsh, that somewhere out there, Prince Charming and Fairy Godmothers exist. That life is simply a scene from a lively storybook.
Despite my naïveté, I don’t kid myself that change happens overnight. People have to do something more than their hypocritical preaching and empty promises. As for me, I have to start with myself. I’m not saying that I’ll start keeping a planner and set a goal, say like within ten years, I’ll be a billionaire. No, of course not. Let’s be more realistic than that. As for my course of action, I’ll tell you about that next time, or you’ll never hear the end of it.
Before I go, I just want you to keep this in mind:
“Those who are lucky enough would learn the real essence of life. They don’t glide through it with a nudge of luck but with a level mind and a pure heart, and always, their choices would determine the path they take. “