Monday 13 June 2016

POVERTY : There’s always something we can give....

The Lesson From A Yau Char Kwai

As I was on my way to the GG office this morning, I decided to buy Yau Char Kwai from a stall nearby. While making my purchase, I heard the stall owner saying, "Uncle, its ok, no need". I looked up and saw an old uncle with his worn out bicycle, he looked like he lived off the streets as his clothes were shabby and his hands were dirty. He was fishing for some coins and then gave a rough amount of 35 cents to the stall owner. If you're wondering "Wah, so cheap ar the Yau Char Kwai?" No, the 35 cents wasn't even enough for one piece (which costs RM1 at least). Nonetheless, the uncle gave whatever he could afford, took a Yau Char Kwai and left. Wow, a man with such dignity.

After I made my purchase and was leaving the stall, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. The same uncle from before was being followed by a dog when he turned around and let the dog take a bite from his Yau Char Kwai. At that moment I was thinking "I hope that the uncle isn't going to be eating from the same Yau Char Kwai as the dog." But what the uncle did after that shocked me even more--he gave the entire Yau Char Kwai to the dog, the one he used up all his coins for! The uncle turned and saw me staring at him and started to mumble something. I couldn't make out what he was saying because it sounded more like noises, but I felt as though he was saying, "The dog is really hungry."

I just stood there and nodded at him, trying to let what just happened sink in. 

This uncle, poor and probably hungry, just gave away what was possibly the only meal he would have had for the entire day to another hungry being. Watching the uncle’s selfless act, I knew that even though he may be facing financial and physical poverty, he still gave to the needy. And he didn’t just give a little, he gave all that he had.

I have found from my work here at GG that the poor are one of the most generous people there is around. They are one of the most genuine and sincere bunch as they know how to share with one another despite having only a little, because they know how it feels like to be hungry. They have shown me that being poor doesn’t stop one from having a big heart for others. 

Coming back to the story of uncle, I walked towards him and opened up my bag of Yau Char Kwai. He looked a bit puzzled so I took out a piece and offered it to him. He squealed in delight and took it from me, smiling as he was eating it. It was a moment of joy for the both of us and I’m thankful for the lesson he has taught me that day–-that there’s always something we can give.

Maybe its hard for us to be like the uncle who gave all that he had, but we can always start with the little that we have, something as simple as Love.

One of my colleague, Jee Wang says this all the time: "True riches is not measured by wealth but by the generosity of our heart". Indeed, I learnt about that from the uncle and his Yau Char Kwai today.

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