Can I ask you to do something that I have been doing these last few months? Do it whenever the spirit moves you to do so and whenever you can do so.
You see even here in Melbourne I come across fellow human beings asking for help on the streets. For a long time I choose to ignore them as I did when I was in KL. I work hard for the money I earned and there never was a time when I thought I had enough for myself and my family - what more to give any of it away to strangers.
Then sometime early this year I started to ask myself this. What difference would it do to me if I were to give a few dollars away when asked?
And I remembered the moment when that realization hit me. It was in Adelaide and I was waiting for a bus on a cold winter afternoon to go into town. A young man, unsteady on his feet, approached me and asked if I could spare him two dollars? I said “NO” and turned away. Even as I turned away I instantly regretted what I have just done.
I turn around and saw the young man walking away from me and crossing over to the other side of the road heading away for some unknown destination, head bowed, burdened, I am sure, with finding himself in a situation when he had to beg for two dollars from someone he did not know.
And then it hit me…give him what I can afford…he needs it more than me! And I did. I crossed the road and caught up with him and gave him five dollar and went back to the Bus Stop to wait for my ride into town.
From that day on I have continued to do this…… more because it made me feel good than to assist those who are in need. If I can afford ten dollars that is what I will give if not anything I have to spare. Sometimes on cold winter mornings I will insists on buying them breakfast at McDonalds. Sometimes I know that the money I give will most probably be spent on Drugs or Liquor but who am I to judge?
In my life I had had friends who have done the same for me. I remember them well…Zubir, Noi, Manap, Nor, Nazir, Bakar, Kamal, Dato Zahari, Fudin and a few others…….friends whose kindness went a long way towards making life just that much more bearable for my family and me.
And today what I try to do is to pay it forward…that is why I give what I can afford to give to those who I think are in need.
Why don’t you try to do as I do? I know there will be some of you that are already doing the same thing for far more longer than me and in more ways than me. To those of you that do so, on behalf of those that you have helped, I say thank you. To those of you that have not started to do so….try. I know it will do you more good that it does to those that you have helped. I know.