A beautiful encounter

My husband always puts me in charge when things go wrong with our reservation or if we needed to get a good bargain. I have a knack for finding ways to right a wrong and get a bonus out of the situation. My tag line, “it was rightfully mine.”

En route to pick my mom up, I had a beautiful encounter with a simple man, with seemingly simpler needs. Whilst trying to climb up a step, he stumbled and fell. I raced towards him to help him up. He gently refused but seeing that I wasn’t going to leave him alone, he passed his shoulder bag to me, while he tried to steady himself and slowly take that step.

“It’s not a big deal, I’ve fallen so many times that I’m used to it”, he said as we slowly walked towards the local health clinic, a pace too slow for me but I wasn’t in a hurry. As we reached another step, I extended my hands but he just smiled and began telling me about his weak legs and how no medicine can cure him. Yet, he visits  many clinic each month to find medicine that will ease his pain.

It was a slow and painful walk for him. He just endured and spoke softly about his legs. He wasn’t complaining, he was just telling me about it.

As I was wondering why he didn’t park his car inside the clinic, he began telling me how he tried to park his car at the designated handicapped parking but was denied because he didn’t have a handicapped parking person sticker on his car. He never bothered to get it because the parking attendance at his previous clinic knew him and always allowed him to park inside.

I was so ready to give the guard at my mom’s local clinic a piece of my mind and relate to him how his wrong doing had caused this man to fall but before I could speak my thoughts, he smiled and said, “it wasn’t the guard’s fault, because I am new here and I should have had an OKU sticker on my car” He even smiled at the guard as we passed him. I looked back and caught him looking at the old man with some degree of concern. Perhaps he must have been regretting his action.

It’s my right! These words came ringing in my head because if it was me in his situation, I would have bitten the guard’s head off for not letting me park at the handicap parking bay, which was empty by the way. But not this old man. He just walked past the guard and sat quietly on a bench with his hands clasped together forming a diamond. He had his eyes shut as I walked on to my mom’s waiting room.

After helping my mom collect her monthly medication, I related the story to her and she too felt the guard was wrong. But as we walked past the man, whom was still sitting in the same way he was when I last saw him, all anger we felt for the guard vanished.

This reminded me of a phrase I know too well but hardly practice; be the lotus flower growing in a muddy pond. So beautiful and pure it grows, unaffected by the mud around it.

I never let things go. I react too fast because I get affected too easily. The old man had all the right reasons to pick a fight and demand that he was allowed to park inside the clinic area, but he didn’t. He just sat there, with his hands clasped in a diamond form, silently and patiently for his turn to see the doctor.

Despite sitting right in front of the vacant handicapped parking, he didn’t show any signs of anger festering in him. He was the lotus flower at this overly crowded health clinic. He was unaffected and didn’t let the surrounding affect him. He just was being him.


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