Sometimes being in a fast-paced environment changes our being from relational to mechanical. We are trained to be productive as professionals and the way we are measured is by the yardstick of our performance – how much we earn and how much money we make.
When daily life loses its meaning, I’ve come to realize that one thing that can help bring back “life” is when we do random acts of kindness. The feeling of extending yourself for someone – may it be a stranger, or a special person, is incomparable.
One Thursday night I left work at around 9pm and walked to the street where I usually struggle to catch a jeepney or a cab. Evenings like this will take me 30-45 minutes to take a ride, unless I walk 5 blocks away where it’s easier to get transportation. I would usually prefer to take a long walk, but working overtime somehow consumed my energy and urges me to wait than take a smarter route. If your office is in Makati city, you probably understand what I mean.
While waiting for a ride, an old lady slowly crossing the street got my attention. I would expect her to be around 70 years old, she was thin and was carrying a big “bayong” (native bag). I recognized her face as one amongst those like me who have been waiving at jeepneys and cabs hoping for an available seat. I heard the traffic enforcer asked her where she’s going and if she likes to be assisted, but the lady refused and kept walking.
I followed the old lady, also because I felt concerned that she would never get a ride by herself. Unlike the traffic enforcer, I was surprised she talked to me and did not ignore my questions. She is from Lucena city, but stays in Libertad and travels in the Makati City Business District twice a week. She did not tell me the reason, but she said she would usually wait an hour or two until she can ride a jeep home.
It’s amazing how concern for others pushes you to move swiftly to reach your goal. I left the old lady sitting on a building staircase along Arnaiz so I could walk to Landmark and get a cab for the two of us. I asked her to wait and promised to come back. I walked the fastest that I could and was successful to catch a vacant taxi in less than ten minutes. The taxi driver agreed that we pick up lola (Filipino word for granny) before we go to our destination.
Good thing the traffic light turned red when we were approaching the building where I left lola sitting on the stairs. I stepped out of the cab, excited to take the old lady in with me and share the news that we can finally get a ride home.
But lola disappeared from the spot where I left her. I looked around then went back to the taxi, concerned that the traffic light will soon turn green.
“Baka nakasakay na siya” (Maybe she was able to take a ride home), Manong Driver encouraged me to be optimistic. I had mixed feelings that moment. Didn’t she trust that I would come back? I was a bit disappointed but did not feel like my energy was a waste.
I sighed, then breathed in again. Smiled, and thanked God. Because that moment, I felt alive.