Submitted by Gus about 19 hours ago.
I went to Indonesia (Jakarta to be more specific) for a 2 week-vacation when I was a Sophomore to visit my relatives.
We stopped on a red light, and as always, there was a plethora of activity outside of the cars near the intersection. Men walking in between the cars selling newspaper, water, dried tofu, and a number of kids looking for a bit of charity from the car owners. As sad as it sounds, it’s a familiar scene in Indonesia (or perhaps in most other developing countries)
While we were waiting for the red light to turn green, I noticed a man outside a couple of cars in front of ours trying to sell bottles of water. It’s nothing unusual at first. He was a man in his 40s with relatively ragged clothes. But he walked around in an odd-looking way. He kind of “felt” his way around the spaces. He was blind.
Carrying a couple of water bottles on one hand, he eventually got to the outside of our car. Out of charity, my mum decided to buy 1 water bottle. As my mum gave this man the money, the light turned green. Cue the horns and hustle of cars trying to get ahead of traffic. Seeing this, my mum kindly told the man to keep the change. This man was having none of that. Presumably with his superior sense of touch, he quickly went through his shirt pocket and threw a bundle of money at my mum’s lap. It was the exact change. The horns of the cars behind us were really getting out of control, so we decided to go on our way and keep the change. The man safely proceeded to the sidewalk.
I cried when I got home. I mean, come on. Here’s a blind man, presumably born in poverty, trying to sell water bottles on the intersection to make ends meet. He didn’t want our sympathy. He didn’t need our sympathy. Life hasn’t been kind to him, yet he’s evidently giving it his best shot. Ultimately, I think that is what courage is all about, facing life head on.
I wish this man all the best in life.