One of these stop-and-think moments happened on my bus ride to school. First, I need to give you some background information:
This is a quick video to show you how some people make their living down there. It is actually a pretty common practice where people are given permission to jump on the buses without having to pay so that they can sell things to the passengers. I've seen people sell everything from food to music and toothbrushes to jewelry.
Getting back to my little story, I was sitting on the bus just looking out the window not really paying attention to who was selling what at the time because it happened everyday at that same stop.Literally. Everyday, two or three people would hop on at the first stop after the bus station and would sell chips, ice cream and sodas/waters. This particular day, I did end up taking the small piece of paper that the man handed to me and was caught off guard by what it said. This man wasn't selling anything.
As I read the paper, I snapped out of my day-dreaming mode as I tried to process the fact that this man was going bus to bus, asking for strangers to donate a few cents so that he could support his family after the accident that took away his left arm. I looked up at him as he walked up the isle to the front of the bus, and then looked into my tiny wallet for some change. There I was, a gringa from a first world country. Who was I to say that I didn't have anything to give to this man? I can't remember how much I ended up giving, but I know it wasn't much. When he walked back the isle a second time, looking for those who were going to donate even a penny, I held out my hand and gave him the few coins that I had. 'Gracias. Que Dios le bendiga' he told me, with such sincerity.
While I was there, I was constantly reminded of how fortunate I am, for so many different reasons. Thanks to Paul Hamilton, I was also reminded that I am not lucky, I am blessed.
I couldn't agree with him more.