MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “beggar”

The sound of gloom

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There was a poor person in the metro the other day playing a famous song on his guitar. He was dressed decently. Wasn’t begging really. His voice was imbued with feeling. He sounded almost professional. He sang from the heart and that was evident. It made you want to give him something. Some change to show your appreciation for the way he was striving to make a living.

Perhaps he could have searched for a ‘regular’ job. But everyone knows these are hard to find in a country where ‘crisis’ has become an everyday term.

At least he was giving melody to a train ride. And you could see the passengers actually stop looking at their phones for a minute and letting their mind wander at his tune.

You were almost mesmerised to give him spare change. Coins whose possession to you may not have made a difference. Perhaps it was the cost of your daily cup of coffee. But to him it was a measure of appreciation. Of the fact that there were people out there who liked what he offered and who were willing to grant a helping hand.

There are many people who leave aside their dignity and in their despair decided to ask strangers for help. There are the ones who feel outcast from society. Whom we look at demeaningly and most often choose simply to ignore. There are the ones who cause controversial discussions of whether they are worth our pity or our ignorance, of whether they are choosing the easy road of begging instead of searching for a ‘real job’.

Everyone we meet carries their own story, their own burdens, their own heavy loads. But it is people like these that make you realise all that you have and how little you appreciate how lucky you in fact are. Because what you perceive as obvious and ‘normal’ is not so for many others.

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Sliding doors – Granting Pennies

straw hatThe sun was waking up from behind the grey clouds as the wind howled from within the door cracks. Martha, stretched her dirt-black hands and used the only clean rag she had remaining to wipe the morning dew from her eyes. She was the old widow who was left homeless and alone after her husband died and the state seized their house due to unpaid debts. She lived in the spaces other people left empty. She was the shadow that filled the empty enclosures. The silent presence in a seemingly fine world.

Her day relied on the friendliness and compassion of strangers. She had nothing else left to hope for.

As she shook of the dust from her worn-out dress, she tried as best as she now could to make herself presentable. She put on her straw hat with the still luminous green bow, and stepped out into the busy street.

That day was different.

There was a lot more people rushing by than usual. It left Martha wondering whether something had happened, or if someone important was visiting.

Either way she carefully observed passers-by and the minute she detected a hint of sympathy or a sip of kindness in someone’s look, she would approach and timidly ask for assistance – “even a two-pence will do” she would plead.

Sympathy is a strange thing. No matter how much you may hurt or empathise with someone’s suffering, it is hard to reach into your pocket and actually do something about it.

And that day, no one did.

Martha was left standing in that very spot she had begun her day. Only now she was hungry, tired, and emotionally drained. It was unusually cold that night too. The rain and thunderstorm that ensued covered up the beating of her weary heart as she lay on her hole-filled blanket to rest, in a sleep she would never wake up from.

 

But what if her day had been just a little different?

There was a lot more people rushing by than usual. It left Martha wondering whether something had happened, or if someone important was visiting.

Everyone seemed to be rushing to go somewhere.

Martha carefully observed passers-by and the minute she detected a hint of sympathy or a sip of kindness in someone’s look, she would approach and timidly ask for assistance – “even a two-pence will do” she would plead.

Every once in a while, some kind soul would appear and make the difference. You simply had to be ready to accept it.

Martha found this in the face of a young woman. She wore a blue sleeveless dress, with a white belt suited at her waist, and elegantly covered with a blue trench coat. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean, but they seemed to reflect the grey of the clouds that covered the sky that day. The woman stopped in front of Martha. Their eyes locked for a moment that seemed eternal. None of them spoke. They did not need to.

The woman reached for her bag and pulled out an almost overflowing envelope. She placed it in Martha’s hand giving it a squeeze as she left it there, smiled and departed.

Martha watched as the woman turned the corner and disappeared.

She opened the envelope and gasped. Inside were hundreds of money bills. Enough to repay her debt and get her house back. Enough to regain a decent living. Enough to reclaim her life.

What Martha never knew was that that woman had just won the lottery. And decided to give the money to someone who she judged needed it more than she did.

Sometimes even the smallest gesture can change someone’s life. You just need to be bold enough to make it.

Also part of Daily Prompt: The Kindness of Strangers

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