When I was little, like about 10 years old, I went to the city center with my mum. It was a warm summer day and for a child to crave for an ice cream was something inevitable. And, so I yearned for one. For my mother it would be of course, a difficult thing not to let me have the ice cream no matter what the financial situation was. So, I got my ice cream and enjoyed it like it was the first and the last.
After she handled all the chores in the city, we returned home. And, yes, the child in me got greedy and I allowed myself to ask mother for another ice cream. My mother said that you already had one and that you should be happy with that as two ice creams might hurt your tummy. And I would also think she must be careful about spending the limited money she had. I must have reacted like any child would in my situation; I was bit upset, but most probably I understood the money issue and I didn’t go on with my request. Only a few meters before we reached our building, there was an older man walking funny towards us and his hands were really shaking. I was sure he had some kind of disease, but didn’t dare to mention anything. He was also mumbling something but I didn’t understand exactly what he was saying. My mum looked at him and handed him some money. Funny it was to me when I realized it was the exact value as that of the ice cream she bought for me. The child in me got really frustrated and started to complain “how come you gave the money to the stranger, when you didn’t want to buy your daughter another ice cream”. She just simply explained to me that we should help people in need. I don’t know how much I understood at the time its value of ‘a good deed for a good cause’, but surely I saw that something wasn’t right with that man so I stopped bothering.
A few minutes later I went outside to play to the closest park. On the way I passed by a bar. As it was summer and I don’t believe air condition existed during that time, the doors were wide opened. Curious that I was, I looked inside and immediately recognized somebody. I turned my head and looked again as I thought how funny for this coincidence to happen. Do you think you can guess who it was that I saw? Yes, it was the shaking funny man! Only this time his hands weren’t shaking at all! I am sure I wasn’t mistaken as I saw he was drinking from a glass and his hands served him without difficulty. I was generally a calm and good behaved child but that really made me so angry that I went back to my mother and told her everything. She told me that most probably the man was alcohol addict and his not having it lately was the reason for his hands shaking. And she couldn’t have known that when she gave him the money. She was totally right. She just wanted to do a good deed.
I didn’t see it then, but I do see it now and I know I wouldn’t do it differently if I would be in her position. It is like this: sometimes we get fooled by appearances; my opinion is that we should never be sorry if we discover later that we were mistaken while doing the good deed like helping. The need to help should be our first reaction and doing that should be the genuine manifestation of being a good human as our parents taught us to be. Sometimes, we may discover we helped the wrong person, but that should not be a reason to stop helping, even though we were fooled at times. If you want to do good, there are opportunities everywhere around us; don’t let the fools spoil your good heart.
Be good! Do good! Stay good!
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You stole the moon for me.
I lost myself in the constellations
I traced along your skin
the night becoming a vacuum;
something ours alone.
I bottled your sweet sighs
while you weren’t watching,
memorized the flutter of your eyes
and the songs we kissed to
will play over and over again in my head;
~ Joseph A. Pinto
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