Sunday, May 25, 2008

APPEARANCES ARE OFTEN DECEPTIVE

By MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@gmail.com

What about the bum on the street? I was waiting on someone standing in a street. Coming my way from across the street was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had nothing to eat, no shelter, no clean cloth and no monitory.

There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered to put your hand in your pockets. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times” for me. And I presume he doesn’t ask me for any money to help him out. To my utter surprise he did not. He came and sat on the wall besides me. After a few minutes, he broke the silence, “that’s a pretty elegant watch you are wearing”, I shook my head in positive with fear of not losing it. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard keeps more than his face warm. I said, “Thanks” and continued waiting with keeping an eye on my watch. He sat there quietly again as I waited. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened, someone inside me said, “Ask him if he needs any help?” I was sure inwardly that he would say “yes” if I ask him the same question. I held true to my inner voice, eventually. “Do you need any help?” I asked. And he answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learners and accomplished persons. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke those three words that shook me. “Don’t we all”, he said. I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, superior to a bum in a street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun. Don’t we all? “Yes I need help, may be not for bus fare or to get edible or a place to sleep, but I need help”, he finished.

I reached in my wallet and give him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to take a cab anywhere in the city and get food and shelter for the very day. But those three little words meant a lot to me and still ring true to me. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are still waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos that only you through a torn world can see.

I thought for a time being, may be that man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. May be he was more than that. Or may be he was sent by a power that is the Greatest and the Wisest. May be God looked down, called him an Angel and we named him a bum.

MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0333 53 63 248

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