I was feeling a bit depressed this particular morning as I was reminded by a friend that I cannot take the weight of the world on my shoulders, specially materially as I had to sort some personal stuff in that area too. And when my youngest son told me he is going to “HongKong Guiling” (the place where my nanny for sixteen years hail from and how it became HongKong Guiling for my son is another story) this morning and will be staying for two nights and three days ( I made him repeat that three times to make sure that he knows his promise about returning), together with his “inang” (vernacular word for mother but in this case referring to the nanny) and my niece, the more I felt depressed but I could not say no as he reminded me that I agreed earler (altho, I do not remember when I did!!!…hmmm..comes with age ..er..maturity, I guess).
After taking them to the bus station, I decided to go to a cathedral.to park as I need to go around and pay bills but hoping that somehow, I might grasp something that will uplift my spirit. As planned, I went to park within the Church’s grounds and was given a ticket stamped with the time 10:22 (parking is free for an hour). After which, I got out of the car and went and inside the Church (am not Catholic but I find it relaxing to be in such places at times), sat in one of the pews, stared at the fixtures for awhile then remembering my errand, I went on my way. I paid my bills then decided to drop by at Goldilocks and decided to give myself a treat and bought one 10-pack Classic Polvoron. Polvoron is a specie of powdered candy made from roasted flour, milk and butter.
After paying, I took out one of the powdered candies and took my time savoring the taste and started to take the long flight of stairs going back to the cathedral grounds. Of course, for those who have tried eating the polvoron while catching their breath with no liquid available would know that I was treading a danger zone!!! So, midway, I stopped to catch my breath, made sure I was not choking and observed the people walking up and some walking down the stairs. Most would stop awhile to gaze at the pictures and read the biblical verses written on posters along the sides of the stairs.
My attention was drawn to a blind man sitting, holding his palm up and extended towards any passerby. I looked at him and thought of what my friend said about not taking on the world’s problem. I decided I would go on my way and will not give alms remembering a lesson lengthily discussed when I was young that one should teach another to fish and not just give a fish because doing the latter is a satanic doctrine. So I continued on and likewise continued eating my polvoron. After ten steps or so, it hit me that I could give the blind man polvoron becasue sharing is not evl per se.. While thinking about that, I continued walking till I reach the top of the stairs. I rested a bit then turned around still thinking about the blind man and my polvoron. I was toying with the idea of giving him one of my polvoron but that would mean I had to go down again and I felt I was too tired to go down. I looked at my watch and it read 11:11 a.m. I had eleven minutes to get out of the parking area less I pay the parking fee if I get out late. I decided I will just go get my car.
Then I just froze and turned back. It hit me that if I die choking on my polvoron today and the blind man was Jesus maybe and I did not share my polvoron, all the things I have done to help others prior to that moment would come to naught….gosh, I might end up somewhere sizzlingly hot .After some more cost-benefit analyses, I went back and gave the blind man my polvoron then rushed out of there, at exactly 11:22. When I got home, I told my kids about the experience and I realized how it can be tough to choose doing something that may be right. There was less pressure if I take the easy way out. But I realized how I struggled with that small decision, all because my human nature to think first of my own convenience and needs were the priorities at that moment. My kids and I had a good laugh about it when I said that the moral of the story is “don’t buy polvoron!!!”….But on a more serious note, we had a good insight on how difficult it can be to do one small act of kindness specially when we feel we have less too.