Growing up in Jordan, it wasn’t unusual to see ‘poor’ people begging around each and every corner you pass through. I actually never consciously thought about it, I never stopped a minute and thought who are they ? what are they doing? are they really forced to beg? or do they do it willingly?.
As a child, I would answer those questions that would arise from my subconscious mind “they are lazy badia, if they really wanted money they would go work”. With this answer, I would end the argument and prevent any future curiosities.
However, a little innocent blue-eyed boy changed everything I ever thought of, changed the way I looked at life and he made my problems look insignificant. It was a normal friday. Streets empty at the early morning and I was going with my mum to get something from my grandmother’s house. As we were just about to park in front of the house, we saw something extremely tiny, I didn’t know what it was until we approached it. He was a tiny blonde boy, with blue teary eyes that can capture your heart. The boy was crying, and I am not talking about the type of crying that a girl would cry if she breaks up with her boyfriend, not the type of crying that a boy cries over his broken toy, and definitely not the type of crying that I usually do.
His tears were full of pain and agony. He was 6 years old. A SIX YEARS OLD can really cry! That moment, I knew that this six year old little soul leads a life of sadness. As we drove further away, my heart couldn’t stop beating, the voice inside me couldn’t resist the idea of leaving that kid on the floor, and yeah it was winter, freezing cold. I knew my mum couldn’t handle leaving either, and without talking, without even telling her, she saw the look in my eyes and changed the driving gear into reverse.
We spent more than 15 minutes trying to make him talk to us, eventually, we found out that his father has just thew him out of the car, ordered him to get money and then return home in the evening, all alone. Upon hearing his story, more than a million thoughts occupied my head. Anger came out first. My mum tried to offer the kid a ride, but I guess the child has been warned about talking to strangers and accepting rides. His eyes showed the reluctancy, but his heart reflected his desire, his desire to learn, to eat, to be warm, his desire to LIVE.
We gave him some money and a pack of biscuits that we had in the car, and he went off walking. That boy left us but he took my heart with him. I don’t think I will ever forget his face, his eyes, the weak smile he gave us when he saw the money. And ah, he was expected to go back home ALL ALONE, all the way from Deir Ghbar to this weird place that was more than an hour away. That moment, my only wish was authority. I wish I held some kind of authority to find his father and throw him in jail due to his child abusiveness. I badly wanted to help that kid, to go home with him, put him in a school, buy him decent clothes and give him the life HE deserves.
A question popped into my mind that day, my wishes for that boy, did they appear in the intention of helping him? or helping myself?relieving my conscious.
Answer to that is both. That boy deserves life, and every little boy/girl like him. They lead a hard life. That day gave me one realisation that was always in front of me but never looked that obvious. It is really more than OK to fail an exam, to get a C instead of an A, to go to school with a ‘bad hair day’, to find that the lunch your mum cooked for you wasn’t something you liked, to break up with a boy/girl friend, to fight with your best friend, to argue with your parents, to be hit by your brother, to stay home all summer vacation, not to do anything interesting or leave the country for a year or two, to wear something that makes you look fat, to actually gain a couple of kilograms..If I wanted to continue I would never finish. Our daily problems that we nag about is NOTHING compared to the life that little boy and others live. We are actually in a blessing.
I thank God I met that boy, but then again, his image keeps floating in my mind, and every night I pray that he is having a good night sleep. I am determined to reach a position of authority in my country, and look for that boy, and give him the life he deserves, even if its 20 years from now.
Dear who ever is reading this, especially me if I one day forget:
If you have a roof over your head, a loving family, a warm meal, a cosy house, money in your pocket, pennies under your couch, snacks to enjoy, school to nag about going to, parents to argue with, and most importantly, health. If you have one or more of the above, then you are probably the luckiest person in the whole wide world. Be thankful always :).
Just a thought I was tempted to write about.