I have countless anecdotes which made my family and friends laugh, reflect, agree, and disagree. These stories also touched their being which I have shared verbally or sometimes posted on my social pages.
The thing is, these anecdotes actually taught me numerous lessons in life which made me stronger and realize the beauty of being a human and of being alive.
So today, I would like to share my encounter with a vendor. Few months ago, I attended a fashion class every Saturday. I was enrolled in a dressmaking and pattern design course in Makati. It was a whole day class, so every lunch break I would usually go out and eat my meals in a shopping mall nearby.
On my way back to Slim’s Fashion & Arts School (that’s the fashion school by the way) after lunch, I saw Kuya (older brother) vending Indian Mangoes. He was quietly seated on a stool by the sidewalk arranging his goods underneath the scorching sun. That day, the sun was high and I was in a hurry because I can’t be exposed to direct sunlight as directed by my dermatologist. Since I haven’t eaten this fruit for quite sometime, I decided to stop and buy.
I approached Kuya, he didn’t notice me at first because he was busy peeling Mangoes, so I cleared my throat and asked him.
Me: Kuya magkano (how much)
Kuya: php50.00 ma’am 3 pieces with spicy salt
Me: Whoaaa….quite expensive it’s like buying 2 kilos already (at the back of my mind of course I didn’t say it loud. Although I found it expensive, I decided to buy because I wanted to eat Indian Mango..
Me: Ok, I will buy 1 pack, but can I choose the Mangoes please (I chose 3 big ones and paid him Php50)
I got my 3-pcs Mango and walked back to school… thinking…. am I supposed to feel bad because I paid too much for that fruit .. or should I feel great because I helped someone today? Honestly, I didn’t know how to describe my feeling that moment.
I kept processing my thoughts and try to understand how I feel, and I realized, yes I felt great not for the reason I have stated above but instead because I met someone, this old man working honestly to earn a living! He is a reminder to me that, we may have our daily struggles but life goes on, and that there are so many ways to face these struggles and overcome those. Just like him, his struggles might be, how to make ends meet for him and his family, yet he is doing his best, he is striving to earn in an honest and dignified way possible.
I admire Kuya vendor for his courage and determination, I wish to see more like him who will never give-up on life’s challenges. Actually it was how I felt for him (admiration) that made me smile and feel good. I didn’t feel pity nor feel bad for him, instead I celebrated his strength to face life with courage and filled with hope.