imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

IN MY EYES: The wisdom of kindness

Last Christmas eve, I dropped by the coco section there at the public market to buy a couple of ground coconuts for our arroz caldo that evening. It was around 10:00 in the morning and I had to pass by the kiddie toys area to get there.

My attention was caught by a child, around 4 years old, sitting in front of the toys section, staring at a Voltes 5 plastic sword hanging proudly.

Suddenly, he stood up, raised his clenched right hand and shouted, “Voltes 5!”

I smiled in amusement, remembering my own child whenever he, himself, shouted those words with the Voltes 5 sword in hand.

While watching the child repeating the shout, a middle-aged woman suddenly appeared saying, “Andito ka lang pala, kanina pa kita hinahanap!”

The child refused to move and when the mother started to drag him, he burst out a tear.

“Gusto ko ‘yong espada! Waaaa…!”

“Tayo na, wala tayong pera.”

The child still refused. She started to get mad. I intervened.

“Okay, let’s do it his way. Your child can have the sword. Ako na ang bahala,” I said.

I took the sword and handed it to the child.

“Merry Christmas!” I said.

The child gave out a wide smile. I raised my palm and he gave me five.

“Thank you,” the mother retorted.

Another incident that always made me smile was that incident that occurred very recently in front of our school. I was about to go home aboard my motorcycle when a tricycle stopped. He was an old acquaintance who just came from the market to sell local cakes and pastries.

“Sir, would you like to buy some?”

I bought 5 binuelos and 5 cascaron to bring home.

Then a kurong-kurong also dropped by. The driver (obviously the grandpa of the 4 passenger kids) alighted and brought out his purse. It’s a little black coin purse. He brought out P20 for 2 binuelos.

“But you have 4 kids,” I said.

The old man had only P5 left in his coin purse.

I took 2 more binuelos from the salesman’s tray and gave it to the other 2 kids.

Again, I saw that familiar smile from the old man’s face.

“Thank you, sir!”

I don’t know, but I always have soft heart for the poor and the needy especially kids.

My heart would melt at the sight of a crying child whatever the reason is.

The Dalai Lama once said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Mang Maing was driving home from a media forum when he happened to pass by an old street beggar sitting by the wayside in front of the former K-Servico motorcycle shop in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

The old man was clad in a sack and fixing his “treasures” which he stacked inside a paper bag. He was trembling, perhaps in hunger or thirst.

Unable to contain what he saw, Mang Maing dropped by a barbecue stand, bought 5 barbecue sticks and a bottle of softdrink and made a U-turn, back to the old man. The man took the stuff, looking very grateful, then continued fixing his stuff. Mang Maing stopped at the corner, watching the old man eat. His tears started to fall down his cheeks.

Feeling warm while driving home, he remembered his own father.

“What if he were my father?”

Many thoughts came into his mind.

 “That man was also once a child like my own 2-year-old child. What did his parents do that made him a vagabond?”

Ken Wert is a teacher and personal development blogger at Meant to be Happy where he inspires readers to live with purpose, act with character, think with clarity and grow with courage

Here is his story:

“I had an old trench coat that was balled up on the floor of my garage, gathering dust near the washing machine. It was raining. It was unusually cold (for California, anyway). I was driving home when I saw a man in a short-sleeved shirt wandering through our neighborhood, pushing a shopping cart. He was walking painfully slow. He was dripping wet.

I paused at the intersection to my street and watched him for several minutes, thinking. My heart was heavy seeing him move so slowly, so wet, so cold. I suddenly remembered the crumpled-up coat. But what if I needed it sometime in the future? A story I had once heard at a church conference came to mind. The story runs like this.

Two boys walked down a road that led through a field. The younger of the two noticed a man toiling in the fields of his farm, his good clothes stacked neatly off to the side.

The boy looked at his older friend and said, “Let’s hide his shoes so when he comes from the field, he won’t be able to find them. His expression will be priceless!”

The older of the two boys thought for a moment and said, “The man looks poor. See his clothes? Let’s do this instead: Let’s hide a silver dollar in each shoe and then we’ll hide in these bushes and see how he reacts to that, instead.”

The younger companion agreed to the plan and they placed a silver dollar in each shoe and hid behind the bushes. It wasn’t long before the farmer came in from the field, tired and worn. He reached down and pulled on a shoe, immediately feeling the money under his foot.

With the coin now between his fingers, he looked around to see who could have put it in his shoe. But no one was there. He held the dollar in his hand and stared at it in disbelief. Confused, he slid his other foot into his other shoe and felt the second coin. This time, the man was overwhelmed when he removed the second silver dollar from his shoe. Thinking he was alone, he dropped to his knees and offered a verbal prayer that the boys could easily hear from their hiding place. They heard the poor farmer cry tears of relief and gratitude. He spoke of his sick wife and his boys in need of food. He expressed gratitude for this unexpected bounty from unknown hands.

After a time, the boys came out from their hiding place and slowly started their long walk home. They felt good inside, warm, changed somehow knowing the good they had done to a poor farmer in dire straits. A smile crept across their souls.

I drove home, took my coat from the garage, and went looking for the old man in the rain. I spotted him. He hadn’t gone far. The rain had let up some. I pulled up alongside him and asked him to come over. He hesitated, then walked closer. I asked if he had a place to stay. He said he did and was close. I offered him my jacket. He looked stunned, like I was violating some accepted code of conduct. I urged him to take it. He slowly reached out and took my old coat.

 He smiled. So did I.”

This is one of the stories which inspires me to do the same, fellas.

We all have poor farmers toiling in the fields of their trials and difficulties along the roads of our lives. Their challenges might not be known to us. But their countenances often tell a story of pain. We have opportunities to hide shoes or hide silver dollars in them.

When I hear of stories of kindness being done to others, I’m inspired to do the same. I think most of us are like that. We need each other’s inspiration as we travel life’s highways, trying to figure it all out.

Indeed, the greatest wisdom of all is kindness.