No matter how hard this life is, be kind and smile.

No matter how hard this life is, be kind and smile.

There is something interesting happened yesterday. I was waiting for the bus to campus and I was waiting at one bus station when a man in his fifty passed by and smiled at me. I was surprised, he was a garbage man or locally known as pemulung. I watched him from a far, and when he walked closer, he smiled at me kindly and it is like exscusing himself. I gave him a smile too, a very sincere smile. I watched him walking, looking for the garbage perhaps. I watched him and unconsciously I sent a prayer for him.

My prayer was, “O Allah, Lord of the worlds, please grant him money and ease. Please make his life easy as you make mine. Amen.”

And I wondered about my own life, about blessings I have been given until now, about health, money and everything. Those that I have without asking for, and yet I often thankless. I cursed myself and I promised to change.

The garbage man has shown me to be kind and to smile. Life can be very tough for him, he might be tired, he might have little money, and he has to work hard every single day. And yet, he smiled at me, he smiled like the world he lives in is beautiful and fair, he smiled like he was the wealthiest man on earth. Money might give you things and power, but it cannot give you attitude.

Another interesting moment happened in the evening when I was walking home. There was an old man, he was a sekoteng seller. It hit me when I saw his thin body had to carry such a weight. He must be really tired, he walked slowly to balance his body. I wondered, “Will his sekoteng be all sold? How much does he gain in one night? Where are his children?” and I did not know the answers.

I, once again, sent him a prayer. “May Allah send as many buyers as possible. May Allah grant him health to carry on. Amen”

Those two men are like reminders for me – to appreciate my life, to thank Allah, to live meaningfully and the last, to be kind.

Such reminders are actually everywhere, they are around us, they are there working hard for their lives just like us. Such reminders are always there for us, but not everybody can take a lesson from them, not everybody can think critically, not everybody can see and learn beyond the appearance and not everybody wants to contemplate.

This piece of writing reminds me to be a human, the real human, who cares about her surrounding, to help others and not too busy with things called gadgets. To be more sensitive and most of all, to be kind to others.

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