Dignity

Sometimes, we lose sight of what is important in life. We are consumed by the demands of our own needs – drowning out the cries of those less fortunate than us.

I was having lunch at a yong tau fu shop with my friends, when I saw a poor Indian man with dust and dirt all over him. He looked like he had not eaten in days, judging from his lean and hungry look.

He stood there, silently, staring longingly the yong tau fu on display. He licked his lips. Clutched tightly in his fist was a one ringgit note.

He motioned for the waiter, who ignored him.

He motioned again. Reluctantly, the waiter walked slowly over to the man, the look of contempt etched plainly on his face.

The Indian man leaned over and whispered something into the waiter’s ear. The waiter promptly turned and marched away from the man. He returned seconds later with a small packet of plain rice noodles.

The man paid for it with his one ringgit.

As he turned to leave, I stopped him and asked him whether he would like some yong tau fu to go with his plain noodles.

He politely declined.

He told me this: “I may be poor, but I am healthy. I have my strength so I can work. I have a family who loves me. I have a bicycle and I can get around. I am happy and content.”

Privilege or the lack of it happens entirely by accident. I will never forget this Indian man. He may be poor, but he has more class and dignity than so many rich people I have come across in this life.

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12 Responses

  1. I always tell people: you never know what smells good till you smell what smells bad.

    Only people who go through hardships in life can understand that.

    anttyk: I agree.

  2. I’m deeply moved and proud of your gesture and humbled by the dignified response of the man. He walks, a man with a rich character.

    anttyk: Sometimes in our daily lives, we stumble across people who affect us in profound ways.

  3. a story i always like no matter how its told. I always twist it around and do a sicko. “I drink more than you but that doesnt mean my path is not straight.”

    anttyk: I play futsal twice a week but that doesn’t mean I have no tummy. Heh.

  4. woah.. deep.

    anttyk: sic’s comment or the post?

  5. If ever a man could make me feel humble, it is people like these, who in fact achieve it with considerable dignity.

    anttyk: That is true.

  6. sob..sob…so touching…

    anttyk: :o)

  7. You are so sweet Anttyk 🙂

    Unlike sicko, nine and spiller. heh.

    Gong Xi Gong Xi

    anttyk: Aw, shucks Lils. Thanks. Happy hols to you.

  8. oi! i can be sweet too ya know! pffbbbttt.

    Gong Xi to u and ur family bro.

    anttyk: Happy new year to you and yours too, bro.

  9. ur post la, brader.

    nways, may u hv a properous new year by either getting laid or getting ang pows. not neccesarily in that order. heh.

    anttyk: Thanks bro. Happy holidays!

  10. lily:
    wei, wot u on about? I am SWEET!

    honest.

    anttyk: Still on that topic ah you?

  11. waaaa!! tapik!

    anttyk: I tabik you back! :p

  12. you’re a good man anttyk.

    anttyk: *shy*

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